A Song of Ascents.
When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter
and our tongue with joyful shouting;
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 captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.¹…
It seemed too good to be true that they were able to return to Jerusalem. It was like a dream—they couldn’t believe it. Now they want to give a testimony to the world.
The remnant of Israel that returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity does not exhaust the meaning of this psalm. It also looks forward to their national restoration when their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns.
Let me quote Dr. Gaebelein’s comment at the conclusion of this Psalm. “Beautiful is the ending of this Psalm of prophecy. We must think first of all of Him who came in humility and sowed His precious seed with tears, our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Only His Father knows the many tears which He shed in His presence in secret prayer . . . And it is perfectly proper to apply this to ourselves also. So let us weep and scatter the seed! ‘Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’ (Gal. 6:9)” (The Book of Psalms, p. 456).²