15 million Ukrainian are displaced by Russia's war.
Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Psalms 126

Verses 1-6

Psalms 126:0

Psalms 126:1 (A Song of degrees.) When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Psalms 126:1 Word Study on “degrees” - Strong says the Hebrew word “ma’alah” ( מַעֲלָה ) (H4609) literally means, “elevations,” and in book of Psalms it means, “a climatic progression.” Strong says this word is derived from the Hebrew verb “‘alah” ( עָלָה ) (H5927), which means “to ascend.” This noun occurs 45 times in the Old Testament Scriptures and is often translated “steps,” as in 1 Kings 10:19. In 2 Kings 20:9-11 “ma’alah” ( מַעֲלָה ) is translated “degrees,” referring to the ten steps the shadow regressed on the king’s sundial.

Psalms 126:1 “we were like them that dream” - Comments - Just as tragic events can bring someone into a trauma, so can a wondrous event leave us in a realm of peace and joy, of wondering how God could do such a thing.

Psalms 126:4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.

Psalms 126:4 Comments - Just as the dry streambeds are brought back to life by seasonal rains, so is our captivity turned into joy by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, if we humble our hearts in brokenness and true sorrow over our sins and in intercession (Psalms 126:5), then God responds by setting us free from bondages of sin.

As I flew over Saudi Arabia in 2000, I was surprised to see that these dry streambeds were clearly visible in the desert and a common sight.

Psalms 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalms 126:6 Comments - In the matter of prayer, the seed can be the words that we have sown in the hearts of men. The weeping are the tears of intercession that water the seed that it might bring forth a harvest. Note the words by Frances J. Roberts:

“O My child, the days are fraught with burdens that need to be borne upon the shoulders of faithful prayer warriors. Where are the ones who are willing to make themselves available to the Spirit for this ministry? Lo, I say, the Word sown shall dry up like carelessly strewn seed if it be not watered with tears of intercession . Ye cannot in yourself lay this ministry upon thy soul, but ye can make room in thy life for time apart with Me; and as ye place thyself at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, He shall use thee as a channel when the needs arise.” [118]

[118] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 14.

Illustration - Paul the apostle went forth bearing precious seed (God’s word) while weeping (i.e., through much prayer, affiliation and tribulations Galatians 4:19), but he rejoiced at the fruit of saved lives (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

Galatians 4:19, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,”

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”

Note Paul’s sorrow, travail and labour in the vineyard of the Lord:

2 Corinthians 2:3, “And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.”

1 Thessalonians 2:9, “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.”

Illustration - In October 2000 Reinhard Bonnke held a large crusade in Lagos, Nigeria. In this 6-night crusade, six million people attended. Of this enormous crowd, 3.4 million people filled out decision cards, having answered an altar call. The Lord spoke to him and said, “You are reaping with joy what many have sown in tears.” [119]

[119] Reinhard Bonnke, interviewed by Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California, October 2000), television program.

Psalms 126:6 Comments - In the natural realm, man is to work by the sweat of his brow, or in sorrow, in order to produce a harvest from his seed (Genesis 3:17).

Genesis 3:17, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life ;”

This is not always enjoyable, but necessary. Later, the sowing produces joy, as a man sees the harvest of his toil and labour. In the parable of the sower in the Gospels (Luke 8:0, Mark 4:0), the fruit produced are both the souls and also the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Note also Hosea 10:12.

Hosea 10:12, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

Psalms 126:5-6 Comments - Weeping is an expression of loss or someone or of something, of a need unfulfilled. Psalms 126:5-6 tells us to sow a seed during such times that we weep over some loss. It is not enough to just mourn and ask God to help you. He is willing to restore good things to you, but He asks for a seed. We are promised that if we sow during these times of tears, that we will reap a harvest of restoration and come rejoicing. We must accompany our tears with a seed, an offering, to our God.

Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 126". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.