The Dream Realized
Prayer: Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is so much about the faith and about You that I have yet to learn. Please help me to be patient and learn as You teach through the revelation of the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit. Open up my mind and heart to hear something new from You today that my faith might grow and my love expand so that those I see today are touched by You as well. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Read: Psalm 126
Thoughts: Psalm 126 is one of a grouping of Psalms (120-134) known as The Songs of Ascent. They were recited from memory as the Jews went from their homes up to Jerusalem to worship. This particular Psalm recalls the time when God’s people were brought out of 70 years of Babylonian captivity and restored back to the Promised Land. There was work to be done and danger that abounded, but the joy felt by the people as they were given back their gift from God could only be celebrated with praise and worship.
Look closely at the verses and see their progression as the Lord is praised for returning them to their homeland after years of slavery. They see that their fortunes have been restored and it all seems too good to be true (“we were like those who dream.”) While they waited and hoped for this event, when it finally came they were a little surprised and oh so happy. The best example from today that comes to mind is awaiting the birth of a child. You know it will happen, but when the labor finally begins you are so exhilarated, excited and a little surprised! That for which you have waited (for what seemed like a long time) is finally here! Let the praises and the work begin! Mary is similar in her expressions of praise as she contemplates the arrival of the Child that has been announced to her. This Messiah has been foretold for thousands of years. Everyone knew that He was coming. And yet now that the reality is bearing fruit the experience elicits praise and worship for the fulfillment of a promise is about to happen. It was as though she had been only dreaming of the events about to unfold and here they are in reality.
This same Messiah that was promised to Adam, Abraham, David, Mary, and now us has become a reality. In His birth lie the fulfillment of forgiveness and grace, wrapped up in a small Child. As we walk through life we can become bogged down in the everyday stuff of life. And yet our existence is so much more than that. When the Psalmist says “restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev,” he is referring to the sudden rains that would sweep across the desert unexpectedly and bring rivers of water flowing where there had once been sand and dust. God comes into our lives just like that and turn that which was dead into that which is living. As Ravi Zacharias says, “Jesus didn’t come to made bad people good, but to make dead people alive!” This is the God we serve and He is worthy of praise and honor and celebration!
Prayer: “When the Lord restored our lives, we were like those who dream. Now our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; the Lord has done great things for us. The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the desert! When we sow in tears, then shall we reap with shouts of joy! When we go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, we shall then come home with shouts of joy, bringing His sheaves with us.”
(Psalm 126 paraphrased)