1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 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.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
The writer of this psalm looks back through history in verses 1-3. Looking at verses 1-2, go through each descriptive line of what the author is remembering. How do they lead to the writer's conclusion in verse 3?
How does knowing what God has done in the past offer encouragement to the uncertain circumstances that you face in life?
What "history" do you have in your own life where God "restored" you?
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them. NIV
The writer seems to indicate that God's people are going through another season of difficulty. But in this context, what does the writer envision for God's people?
In what ways does the Gospel make verses 4-6 a reality?
::::: Equipping Challenge :::::
Notice the poetic contrasts in verses 4-5. Do you know people in your own life that need this sort of restoration? Take time right now to pray these verses for their sake.