A song of ascents.
Peace be on Israel. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 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.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
The Israelites had been in the darkness of exile. They were taken captives and forcibly settled in another country. They dreamed of returning to Jerusalem and worshiping God together again in the community celebrations. Finally under Ezra and Nehemiah some were able to return. It is thought that this psalm is written for those who returned.
Those returning had to pinch themselves. They felt like they were in a dream. They could not contain their joy. It poured forth in laughter and songs of praise. They knew that the Lord had caused the return and the surrounding nations agreed, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
Prior to life with Jesus we were in a spiritual exile. You probably didn’t experience captivity. In fact, you had surrounded yourself with some pretty nice stuff. But your heart was imprisoned by spiritual darkness. Then Jesus came and opened your eyes. You saw your need for Him and trusted in His work for you. Now you can say, “The Lord has done great things for me.” Don’t get over what Jesus did for you. Don’t forget the laughter and the joy.
Father, thank You for sending Jesus to proclaim to me the Good News, to bind my broken heart, to set this captive free, and to bring me out of the darkness of spiritual confinement. Help me never get over the joy of my salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.