Daily Devotional Sunday 30th June 2024

by William Moody

Psalms 126–128

Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord

A Song of Ascents.

126:1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
  Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
  then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
  The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad.
  Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like streams in the Negeb!
  Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
  He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
  shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

Unless the Lord Builds the House

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

127:1   Unless the LORD builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
  Unless the LORD watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
  It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
  eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.
  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children1 of one’s youth.
  Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
  He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.2

Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

128:1   Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
    who walks in his ways!
  You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
    you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
  your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
  Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
    who fears the LORD.
  The LORD bless you from Zion!
    May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life!
  May you see your children’s children!
    Peace be upon Israel!

Footnotes

[1] 127:4 Or sons
[2] 127:5 Or They shall not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies in the gate

(ESV)

Psalm 126 is about the return to Jerusalem after 70 years in captivity in Babylon. For those who returned it was like a wonderful dream (v1). The people were filled with laughter and joy (v2). The people of the nations saw the hand of God in this (v2b) and the people of God echoed this (v3).

This is like a picture of the joy of salvation as people are brought back into a relationship with the Lord. We see that one of the main purposes of salvation is to bring glory and honour to God.

Although there was great joy at the return to Jerusalem, those who returned faced a great challenge that the land had not been worked for 70 years and Jerusalem and the temple were a plie of rubble. This is why the people pray for God to act (v4. The south of Israel (Negeb) was a very dry region, and streams brought a very needed refreshment. The people are needing the river of the Spirit to persevere.

Likewise, when we’re saved, things are not all rosy, we still have to fight against sin, Satan and the world. The Psalm ends with a great promise (v5-6). This should encourage the Israelites and us to persevere in difficult days.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.