Streams in the South
Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. ~Psalm 126:4
The psalmist described the return of the Jews to Jerusalem as the streams in the south. The riverbeds are dependent upon the melting of snow in late spring. After a summer and an early fall of the hot sun, the streams that move southward have diminished in size and strength, even to the point that streams and riverbeds become completely dried up. However, once the rain season returns, the streams start to flow again. Dry riverbeds begin to enlarge and swell with fast, flowing water running through the land. Our Scripture compares the miraculous return of the Jews to Jerusalem as the return of the streams in the south.
We see the provision.
“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.” We see the Lord’s provision. God raised Cyrus as the king of Persia. Cyrus was God’s agent who commanded the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their city and temple. It was a liberating provision. They would be free of the Babylonian laws, taxation, and servanthood to their system. There would be laughing in this provision. They said in v. 2: “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing.” There was great rejoicing in what God did for them. They proclaimed, “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Let us rejoice and thank the Lord for His daily provision of the great things He hath done for us.
We see the prayer.
“Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.” This psalm was written during the return of the Jews. The Jews returned at three different times. The psalmist prayed that all of God’s people would return as the streams in the south. He prayed to see a large swell of God’s people making an exit from Persia and an entry into Jerusalem. He prayed that the return would be proportional to the swelling streams in the south. This was a faith prayer. He prayed for something big! This was a family prayer. He prayed that all of God’s people would be together again.
We see the product.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” The Jews shed many tears because of their captivity. There were tears of repentance. Seventy years away from their homeland was a long time. Their captivity was because of their sins. There were tears of remembrance. There were older people who remembered the days of blessings and the rich, godly heritage they had. They longed to be back in their land. There were tears of rejoicing. We see a biblical promise. Sowing tears enables us to reap in joy. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." God sees and is sympathetic to the tears of His people.
We see the practical.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Contextually, this verse speaks of the joyful weeping of the Jews as they returned with their children who were born in Babylon. Their children were precious seed because they represented the harvest of the next generation. Because of God’s provision, they would doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves, or heritage, with them. However, practically, it is a powerful promise connected to the importance of being compassionate for sinners. It teaches us that the shedding of tears as we sow the seed of God’s Word in soulwinning results in a bountiful harvest of souls saved and added to the church. Be reminded today that we can flourish and be bountiful again as the streams in the south.
Have a revived God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 7-8