Read: 1Kings 3:3-4:34, Acts 6:1-15, Psalm 126:1-6, Proverbs 16:26-27
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. (Psalms 126:5-6)
Relate: This Psalm is all about joy. It is about returning. Psalm 126 is one of the Psalms of Ascent. Back in Jesus’ time and before these Psalms would be sung as people made their way into Jerusalem. In modern times this is the first of the Psalms that would be sung after a holiday meal. This fits because it is a Psalm of gratitude. It was a Psalm that was probably first written shortly after one of the first harvests of the Hebrew people who had returned from exile in Babylon.
Those were lean years. The land hadn’t been tilled or worked in generations. There was a limited supply of food and to plant some of their grain into the ground was a huge step of faith. It was taking even more of their limited supply of food off the table in hope of a better tomorrow. Many of the returning Jews at this time were so poor they were being forced into slavery to cover their debts. The farmer who was planting would literally do so in tears. If food ran out before the harvest, his youngest might not survive. If God did not bring the rains on time, if they came too hard or too early the crop would be lost. Everything would be lost…
But God had proven Himself faithful. Where tears had been planted, shouts of joy are now being harvested. Where weeping had been heard, now there are songs of joy. This year will not be as lean as the last. Everyone will be able to eat a little more, next year they will be able to plant even more seed, and reap an even greater harvest. Today is a day of celebration. Our diligence and God’s faithfulness have paid off.
React: What am I sowing? In what areas of my life am I willing to sacrifice today for a harvest tomorrow? Am I willing to invest in my future? Or am I just slogging through, living indulgently day by day eating up the seed with no thought for tomorrow? What things is God asking me to put in the ground and let die so that He can prove Himself faithful? Is there anything in my life where I am, on a practical level, demonstrating my trust in God?
If not, what right do I have in asking Him for a harvest?
God, I thank You for all You have done for me. You have proven Yourself faithful over and over again in my life. There is no reason for me not to trust You. But sometimes I still don’t. Please help. Help me to have the faith and the discipline to bury my seed. Don’t let me waste today what You have called me to invest in tomorrow. Help me to plant seeds of trust, of faith, of weeping and sorrow so that those who come after me might reap a harvest of joy. Let them say of You, “The Lord has done great things.”