GracePointe Church (SBC)
Sunday, July 19
- Come People Of The Risen King
- 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
- Psalm 126
- Introduction: Restoration.“Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.” —JI PackerThis particular Psalm does not bear the name of David as its author. As a matter of fact, it is one of the few Psalms that does not give us the name of the author. But that is ok. We know that the author is God.It appears that this Psalm was written some 500 years after David. Apparently, it was written shortly after the Jews had returned from being exiled by the Babylonians.“The Holy Spirit teaches us through Psalm 126 how to overcome present adversity by remembering the past and praying for the future.”There is a sense in this psalm in which the Psalmist is looking back to the past in order to have hope for the future.We can often make one of two mistakes:· On the one hand, we can get be so captured with the past that we refuse to face the future. Traditional Christians are especially prone to this. They remember what things were lack so many years ago when church attendance was common. They think that if they could return to the “good ol’ days” then everything would be fine again.However, the “good ol’ days” are often idealized. We tend to remember them as being better than they actually were. The only difference today is that with social media and 24 hour news we are more aware of the evil. It’s not that there is more of it. We are just more aware of it.· The other mistake that can be made is that we get so focused on the future that we fail to learn from the past. History is one of our greatest teachers.The Psalmist was aware of his history. But history—namely the actions of God in the past—are used by him to give hope for the future.I don’t know that there is a more beautiful than the one that is before us today. We see sorrow—but it is sorrow that is tinged with undie-able hope.We see tears. But they are tears that cannot hide the twinkle of the eye.We see a broken heart. But it is a broken heart that knows that it is being restored.In many ways that sums up the true Christian life. Our hope is not that we will achieve painlessness in this world.Our hope is that there is a world that does not know pain.Remembrance: A Celebration of Restoration: Verses 1-3Remembering the faithfulness of God in the past gives us hope in the faithfulness of God for the future.The Jews have always been a people who intentionally keep their past alive. They remember it. They teach it. They hang on to it.They know that erasing their history diminishes their hope for the future.And so they celebrate the victories of the past. They mourn the defeats. And they repent of their sins.But this Psalm begins with a season of celebration for what God had done.It appears that it was written during the time that God had led the people from Babylon back to Jerusalem under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah.The sorrow and the gloom of the exile had given way to the celebration of restoration. The Psalm presents the mood of the people as being filled with hilarity. They are laughing. They are singing. They are shouting.This is a celebration!For the people who living during the Babylonian exile, freedom was just a dream. It was a hope. But it was not yet reality.But when God freed the Jews from Babylon let them return to Jerusalem, it was like a dream come true.God puts great things in our hearts. He gives us desires. He gives us hopes and dreams.There are few things more difficult than shattered dreams. Fading hope. Broken promises.This world is filled with passion-killers. Dream destroyers. And this will your drive for life quicker than anything.Helen Keller said, “The most pathetic person in the world is the someone who has sight, but has no vision.”CS Lewis wrote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”A dream (godly desire) cannot be separated from hope.Augustine said, “Hope is a waking dream.”Pray for God to give you your dreams—your aspiration—and then chase them by His guidance and with His presence.When their dream of restoration was realized, it was a surreal time. Almost like a waking dream.Notice how the Psalmist describes hope fulfilled in verse 2:Our mouth was filled with laughterAnd our tongue with joyful shouting.Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse thus:We laughed, we sang,We couldn’t believe our good fortune.It is a God-given dream that fills our hearts with joy and lives with hope. Proverbs 13:12 says:Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.Most of us have felt the heartsickness of a failed dream. The crushing weight of what seems to be the death of hope.Let me encourage you with two things:1. Hope never dies when there is a clear vision of God.2. God’s will is always greater than our hopes. You may need to amend your hope. But you should never give up hope.If you think that you have nothing else to be thankful for, you can always be thankful that God has forgiven you of your sins.The very fact that God has done so much to save you—the life, death, and re-life of Christ—indicates that God will not fail you.Notice that verse 3 shows us that—when God’s people have their dreams/hope realized—it is a witness to others:Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them.The blessing of the Lord upon the lives of the faithful provides an opportunity for the faithful to give testimony to God.Let me ask you two questions:1. How has God blessed you?2. Who have you told?It’s easy to give testimony to what the Lord has done for you. It’s easy to know what to say. The Psalmist tells us in verse 3:The Lord has done great things for us;We are glad.When God does good things for His people, it should bring their hearts to a place of joy. A place of gladness.The failure of the heart of a Christian to be glad indicates one of two things:1. God doesn’t do any good.2. We don’t see the good things God does.If your heart is lacking gladness today, you are either saying that is NOT good or that you don’t see the good things God does.So, who’s at fault? Where are you going to lay the blame? God? Or yourself?Want to be a good witness? Tell people how God has blessed you and let them see the joy in your heart!Hope: A Prayer for Restoration: Verses 4-6The Psalmist doesn’t look backwards to remember the good ol’ days. He looks backward in order to encourage him for the days that are ahead.And so, after glancing into the past, he set his sight on the future by praying:Restore our fortunes, O Lord.The Psalmist uses two illustrations to show us what life looks like when it is lived in hope. The two illustrations teach us about two different types of hope.First, it is like “streams in the South.” Streams in the south came with sudden torrents.Sometimes we are overwhelmed with hope. The Spirit of God is at work in our lives. Unexpectedly He shows up and reassures our hearts that everything is going to be ok. We become awash in peace.Second, it is like a farmer who plants seed.This Psalm tells us that God’s faithfulness in the past guarantees His faithfulness in the present and the future. Derek Kidner writes:“So the psalm, speaking first to its own times, speaks still. Miracles of the past it bids us treat as measures of the future; dry places as potential rivers; hard toil and good seed as the certain prelude to harvest.”Even the dry riverbeds of your life will receive the torrents of God’s blessing. Every parched area of your life will receive the abundance of God’s provision.HOPE--------------------------“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” —Corrie Ten BoomConclusionReflection Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 7: The Book of Psalms, The Book of Proverbs (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009), 385. Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975), 476.
- The Kingdom Is Yours
- The Old Rugged Cross
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