Summary: Psalm 126 chronicles the joy of their return from captivity, their prayers for others still in bondage, and God's instruction to plant the seed of the Gospel, even in tears, for a great harvest will come.
WE WERE LIKE THOSE WHO DREAMED
A. HUMOR: THE CATCH
1. Ever since the firm he worked for went bankrupt, Benny has been looking for a job. Many months pass without success but then, one day, Benny rushes back home to his wife Cindy with a big smile on his face.
2. "Darling," he says to her, "I've at last found a job." "Awesome!" said Cindy. "So what's the job like?"
3. "It's a four days a week job," replies Benny, "and includes 7 weeks paid holiday each year. Overtime is at double-rate, and the job comes with a small company car."
4. At first, Cindy can't help smiling at this news, but then she gets serious and says to him, "That's sounds great, darling, but what's the catch? There must be a catch somewhere."
5. "No, there's no catch," replies Benny. "You start tomorrow."
B. A SPECIAL PSALM
1. Beginning with Psalm 120 and continuing to Psalm 134, these Psalms are called “Songs of Ascents.” They were sung by the pilgrims who were traveling to Jerusalem to keep the various feasts days on the religious calendar of Israel.
2. When the pilgrims would stop for rest and refreshment, they would sing one of these Psalms in worship to the Lord. Psalm 126 is the seventh of these fifteen “Songs of Accents.” Let’s read it.
C. TEXT (let’s read it together)
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of [brought back the captives to] Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes, [Bring back our captives] Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out
weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Ps. 126:1-6.
1. This is also a special Psalm for the Church of Jesus, those He redeemed from death and Hell! We’re reminded of where we were headed and how good God has been to us.
2. Tonight, I want to look at three powerful lessons in this precious Psalm: to remember, to pray, and to go.
3. The title of this message is “We Were Like Those Who Dreamed!”
I. THIS IS A WORD ABOUT PRAISING GOD (1-3)
A. THEY REMEMBERED THEIR DELIVERANCE
1. This Psalm was evidently written by the Jews during their return from the diaspora – when the Assyrians or Babylonians carried them away and resettled them in other countries.
2. They thought they’d never see their homeland again. Ps. 137 recounts their experience; “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2 There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” Ps. 137:1-4.
3. Here they remembered how they had been oppressed and held captive by their enemies, and how God in His great power had delivered them. They praise Him for the day He set them free and brought them back to their homeland.
4. Note: We should always remember where we were when the Lord found us, and how He delivered us from our lost and hell bound condition by His matchless grace.
B. COMPARISON: LIFE BEFORE & AFTER
1. They couldn’t hardly believe what had happened to them. They were amazed at the grace, love and power of their God. They felt like people who were living in a dream. It was too good to be true! But, when it finally dawned on them that what they were experiencing was real, they were filled with joy and they lifted their hearts and their voices in praise to the Lord.
2. Even some of the sinners around them recognized the work of God in their lives and gave God the glory. These saints had to agree with the assessment of the heathen, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
3. They were filled with praise for God and couldn’t hold back their praises, but they exalt the Lord for His grace, His goodness and His blessing in their lives.
4. What a lesson for the children of God! We have been delivered from death and Hell by the grace of God. Our names have been written down in glory. We are children of the living God! We have a reason to rejoice.