The Lords Restoration & Revival of His People – Psalm 126:1-6

10 July, 2022

Book: Psalms

The Lord’s Restoration-Revival of His People

{Introduction – God Revives & Restores His People}

  • God has been Restoring & Reviving his people fr. the Beginning.
  • God commanded Israel’s Obedience and Faithfulness, but sadly
  • Israel repeatedly disobeyed,
  • So God repeatedly Disciplined His people… working to restore them back to Himself,


Consider Judges 6 as an example

  • Israel departed fr. Obedience to God, to do Evil in God’s sight
  • So, God Gave them into hands of Midianites for seven years
  • Israel cried to the Lord for Rescue & Restoration
  • So, God Sent a prophet, who preached, calling for Repentance
  • God Raised up ordinary, fearful Gideon, thru whom…
  • God Delivered his people from the Midianites, w/ Great Victory
  • And, For a time there was faithfulness to God…
  • But, then they turned away from God to serve idols, again
  • The Story of the OT History is a repeated cycle of
    • Short-lived Obedience,
    • A Turning-Away from God to serve the idols of nations
    • then God’s Discipline & Restoration


The Lord had promised his people, in Deuteronomy 28:64, that….

  • They’d be exiled out of the land & scattered to the nations, as God’s discipline if they cont. in Disobedience, & Idolatry
  • God Desired(s) from His people, Faith & Obedience, but No…
  • Yet, God persisted for 900+ yrs, calling for Repentance & Faith
  • God’s patience finally came to end; during the mid 6th cent. BC
  • God declared thru Prophets: The Promised Exile was coming
  • In Jeremiah 25, Promised an exile of 70 yrs. in Babylon
  • But, God is also Gracious, He also Promised in texts like 10 & Jer.29 that He would Restore a Remnant back to the land,
  • So that, He might bring the promised Messiah into World
  • 2Chronicles & Jeremiah describe God’s enemies coming and taking Israel to exile in 722 BC & Judah to Babylon, in 587 BC
  • And the Lord’s people endured grt sorrow in exile for 70 years


  • But, God Kept His Promise & Restored a Remnant of Exiles…
  • 36-Ezra 1 describe the Beginning of their Return, and….
  • Our text, in 126, records the People’s Joyful, Prayerful Response to God’s work of Restoration
  • God’s work of Restoring of the Jews, to the Promised land, is an Eg. of God’s Cont. Work of Saving, Restoring, & Reviving His people, by Grace alone, thru Faith alone, in Christ alone….
  • And, Beyond the Remnant’s Return, God promised a far Greater Restoration-Revival…
  • God Promised His Messiah-Christ would come & save His People
  • God Sent Christ, whom the Jews Rejected & Nailed to a Cross
  • Christ Suffered, Died was Buried & Rose Ag. to save His people
  • In 2 God promised to pour out his Spirit on all His People
  • In 2, God kept His promise & ever since then, He’s been pouring out His H.Spirit, Saving Restoring & Reviving, all who….
    • Repent of sin, Believe the Gospel and…
    • Turn to God thru Christ for salvation,
    • Not just for the Jews, but, PTL, for the Gentiles also.


So, Why are we considering Psalm 126, today?

  • Because, It is a call on all of us…
  • In 1-3 To Remember God’s Past Restorations & Revivals
  • In 4, to Plead w/ God in Prayer for God’s cont. Rest./Revival
  • And, In 5-6 it calls all of us to Be Faithful to sow: Seeds of the gospel w/ Tears, in: Promise of Joyful reward @ Harvest


First: We Must Remember the Lord’s Past Restorations & Revivals

  • Technical Pt. notice in vs.4, NASB: “restore the captives”
    • Hebrew: Sebut is better trans. as fortunes, well-being
    • ESV-NIV-NET translate it as “restore our fortunes”
  • Notice in the text, in 1-3, the verbs are all past tense
    • 1, We were like those who dream – (past tense)
    • 2, our mouth was filled – (past tense)
    • 2, they said among nations – (past tense)
    • 2-3, twice: The Lord has done – past tense
  • The Psalmist is Remembering
  • So, The psalmist-people are singing praise to their faithful Promise-keeping God, upon their Remembrance of His Restoration of the Remnant in 536 BC to land of Israel.


So, What’s the point for us? Remember God’s Restorations

  • Remember, Beloved, the moment when you first believed and knew that joy of forgiveness, of Reconciliation to God.
  • Remember, Beloved the times when you knew God’s disciplining hand, to correct and to restore you to Him.
  • Beyond ourselves, Remember the great Revivals and Restorations that God has worked all down thru Church History
  • Our Faithful God is a Saving, Restoring & Reviving, God.


Remember: Restoration-Revival is the Lord’s Work

  • In their context of the people’s return from exile, it was the Lord who brought restoration to them, keeping His promises
  • God promised, in 44, that Cyrus would send them back
  • God moved Cyrus’ heart to issue decree to return, 1
  • In every context where people are brought to God, restored to faithfulness, experience revival – it is God’s work
  • God delivered Israel from Egypt “on eagle’s winds”, Exodus 19
  • God delivered Israel from Midian – thru Gideon, Judges 6
  • God turned Israel’s hearts to h-self on Mt Carmel, 1Kings 18
  • God poured out his holy Spirit on Pentecost morning, 2
  • God poured out His Spirit on Gentiles in10
  • God opened the Jews’ understanding, to hear gospel & believe
  • God opened the eyes of Our hearts & minds to hear, believe & be saved….
  • Never forget! it is God alone who has power to restore/revive.
  • All the Great revivals down thru History, it was God at work to regenerate, to restore, to revive & to refresh His people
  • In history of Church, whenever man tries to crush the church and silence the Gospel, God continues in a display of his mighty power to Restore, Revive His chosen, elect people to Salvation
  • Why should we Pray 4 revival – It is God’s Work to Rest.-Revive
  • Why should we tearfully sow the seeds of truth? Becoz it is God’s Work to restore and revive his people, working thru us.


Remember: Restoration-Revival Brings Joy to God’s People

  • Notice vs.2, “we were like those who dream, our mouth was filled with laughter, our tongue with joyful shouting!”
  • The idea behind “those who dream”, is that it all happened so suddenly that it was like a mirage, a vision, like a dream –
  • It happening all so fast, so sure….
  • Perhaps, God’s restoration, revival, or deliverance was so marvellous & miraculous, it was beyond what they could imagine.
  • The result was they had an immense, overflowing sense of Joy
  • God had removed their sorrows, their yearning to be restored, and replaced it with an overflowing Exuberant Joy in God.


  • The experience of God’s Deliverance from slavery to sin…
    • God’s Revival and Restoration of us into an intimate, Father-child relationship…
  • Produces Joy, not just a temporal, fading situational happiness
  • Its Joy, the Irrepressible, Lifting, Soaring of the heart & soul before God… Not, at what we’ve done for ourselves….
    • Not over some material, financial, physical blessing,
  • but a Joy that is in Entirely Rooted in God’s Person & Work.
  • Remember the Joy we experienced when we were first saved
  • Remember the prayer of David as he confessed his sin,
    • Restore unto me the Joy of my Salvation.


  • We Pray for Restoration & Revival of the Lord’s people, we pray for the regeneration of the lost for their Joy, for our Joy, and for Heaven’s Joy over the sinner who repents
  • We go out in tears of suffering and sorrow, sowing seeds of Gospel truth, in hope of the Joy of a Harvest of Souls saved and the Lord’s people restored & revived.


Remember: Restoration/Revival Displays God’s Power to nations

  • Notice the text,2b-3, “then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.”
  • God delights to make His own Name Great before all Peoples
  • God restored the Jews to the broken down, burned out, heaps of rubble, stone, and burned timber that was once the glorious city of Jerusalem
  • The surround. nations marvelled when they returned in 536BC
  • For the Jews to survive captivity on any level, could only be, by the Lord God’s mighty power at work.
  • God Promised that the nations would see God’s restoration of the remnant to the land and would marvel
  • Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.
  • Ezekiel 36:36 Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.”
  • Psalm 98:2 The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
  • God regenerates, restores, & revives, in the sight of all the nations, for the Glory of His Name, and the good of His people.


  • When the gospel began its explosive spread across the Middle East, Asia-Minor, Europe, and across the known world, the nations stood up & took notice
  • Christ continued the work he had begun through 12 ordinary men, and in the space of 300 years, the greatest empire alive at the time, was radically changed. – the nations were watching
  • The Gospel has dramatically changed the world in which we live,
    • and, although we’re now watching the church’s decline, due in part to its Disobedience to God’s Word….
  • God is not finished.
  • God’s Word & the Gospel will Triumph!
  • When Christ returns, and the nations are gathered for the great day of judgement, and all Christ’s elect people experience our final, ultimate salvation, from God’s wrath, all the nations will see it, and every tongue will glorify God and confess that Jesus is Lord.


  • Why should we pray for God’s Continued Restoration-Revival? Because: nations R watching, they’ll see it & know: God did it
  • Why should we go out with tears and sow the seeds of the gospel, despite suffering, persecution, & martyrdom, because the nations are watching and will see the glory of God in it.


Secondly: Pray for the Lord’s Continued Restoration (Revival)

  • IN the second part of the psalm, vs.4, is a simple prayer & plea for God to do, what only He can do.
  • 4, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the South
  • Dr Bruce Waltke, in his commentary on the Psalms suggests:
  • The prayer in 126:4, reflects the difficulty of life in Judea, particularly in the South, in the Negev.
  • He describes: Prayer as for the Continuation of the Blessings they’re already experiencing, in being restored to the land…
  • The Prayer is for the generally dry lands to be suddenly fed, with life-giving water, to turn it into fertile, productive ground.
  • The wadis or ravines in the steppes, south of Hebron, around Beersheba were usually very dry…
  • …but as little as 25mm/1inch of rain-fall, in the winter months,
    • could: run down those ravines and….
    • fill those streams, producing a massive flow of water capable today of wiping out bridges & roads.
  • It was a prayer for Sudden, Unmistakeable Blessing from God in Continuat’n of His Blessings in Restoring God’s People to Land


So Here’s the point:

  • When the rains fell like that…
  • When the streams, suddenly produced a massive force of water, everybody knew: it came from God’s hand, alone

The Continuat’n of God’s Restorat’n Blessing is a work only God can do.


The Continuation of God’s Revival of His people, His churches, His bringing the lost to salvation, is a work only He can do, but that He does through us, wherever He’s placed us.


Listen, real, God-brought, Holy Spirit-empowered Restor.-Revival is….

  • something that no amount of marketing, advertising, or emotionally manipulative music can ever create.
  • When God Continues His Restoration-Revival work, there will be no doubt as to its origin – God alone has done it


  • When real revival begins, Churches experience lasting increase in committed, membership, People come to church, Attend church & Stay in church
  • Bars, Strip-clubs & Divorce Lawyers, all go broke
  • The Police are bored, with little crime left to investigate.
  • Marriages, Families & Homes are Restored
  • Churches grow and flourish

If you think I’m joking or exaggerating….

  • That’s the historical record, of what actually happened following the great revivals in Ireland & Wales, 200 yrs ago.
  • And the God, who suddenly brought those revivals, is the Same, Unchanging God, yesterday, today and forever!
  • God Has not changed, He and He alone, can still bring revival,
  • Our problem is Not that God can no longer bring Revival
  • Our problem, Beloved, is that we no longer believe it…
    • Said it B4 – Say it again:
    • Our view of God is simply too small


Brothers and Sisters,

  • Pray, Plead, w/ God for the Continuation of the Blessings of His Restoration-Revival Work in the hearts of men.
    • First, in our own hearts, and
    • Then in hearts of people all over this city & country.
  • Pray, because God and He alone can answer this prayer
  • Pray, because when we do, we are displaying to Him, and all who’re listening, that our hopes are not in some slick marketing campaign, they are in God and in God alone!
  • Pray, Because Pentecost, the greatest revival in human history, began in an upper room, with 120 praying people and within 300 yrs turned the known world upside down
  • Pray, because those revivals from prayer meetings still happen,
  • On 23rd Sept 1857 in NYC, 48yr old Jeremiah Calvin Lanphire invited local businessmen to meet at his church to Pray during their lunch-hour, for revival in New York City.
    • 1st day, 12 noon, for 30minutes he prayed by Himself – Nobody showed up…
    • by 12:30pm, 6 men other had arrived & were praying
    • The following week, 20 men were gathering to pray
    • Six weeks later, 200 men were gathering to pray
    • Seven months later, April 1858, 10,000 men all over NY. & other cities were gathering to pray fr. 12noon – 1pm.
  • American Census Records show that the revival that spread from those prayer meetings, lasting into 1858 resulted in 474,000 members being added to Protestant churches,
  • with roughly 200,000 being added to Baptist Churches, alone.


  • The psalmist prayed for the Continuation of the Blessings of God’s restoration of His People, back then 2500 yrs ago…
  • And, God still brings revival,
  • Pray, beloved, Plead with God for the Continuation of His Restoration-Revival work in our day. God can/does do it.


To Recap:

  • 1) Remember the Restor. & Reviv. God has brought in past
  • 2) Pray for God to Continue His Restoration-Revival Work


Thirdly: Be Faithful, Towards Restoration & Revival

  • Notice vss.5-6, Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. 6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
  • The psalmist turns his attention to present day & states a timeless principle of faithfulness w/ promise of reward
  • Certainly in his context, Psalmist is speaking of Lit. sowing seed in the ground, to plant crops, to raise food
  • God could certainly bring the sudden life-giving water to turn dry soil into fertile farmland, but… and…
  • The people of God needed to be faithful to do their work.


  • And, the spiritual analogy is immediately easy to see, for one reason among others, Jesus, Himself uses this very analogy to speak of sowing the seeds of gospel truth, in Mark 4, et al.
  • The call on us is to be Faithful to Sow the seeds of the Gospel


Listen, God blesses Faithfulness not Great Talent-Ability

  • Paul said in 4:1–2 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy – or Faithful.
  • God blesses faithfulness not great talent-ability
  • It is Faithfulness in Sowing the seed, even with tears.


  • Gospel-Work is, as Paul describes: a Sorrowful-yet-Joyful work


Listen to His words from 2Cor.6:4–10, describing his ministry as….

  • 4 ….in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,
  • 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger,
  • 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,
  • 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left,
  • 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true;
  • 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death,
  • 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
  • As Sorrowful, Yet always Rejoicing!
  • Marcel shared with me on the phone, his experience of reading Richard Wurmbrand’s story of his suffering for Christ…
  • and the impact it had on his life…
  • I read within the first week of my own conversion, a teen-age story of Believers Behind the Iron Curtain in Communist Russia, suffering for their faith, sorrowful, yet rejoicing!
  • The stories of those men-women,
    • suffering for their faith,
    • sowing the gospel truth, with tears, had an impact
  • Persecuted Christians, now, in dif. places all over: world….
  • They’re faithfully sowing gospel seeds in the tears of persecution & martyrdom… AND w/ tears of brokenness
  • Like Nehemiah, who hearing of the broken down gates, broken wall, the distress and reproach of the survivors in the city….
  • He sat down & wept & mourned & fasted before the Lord for three months – He was broken over the state of the people…


  • Brothers and Sisters, may God give us a brokenness over the spiritual state of the church, of the lost in this country
  • Beloved, May we see them, not w/ our own eyes, but w/ the Lord’s eyes… May that view, that perspective compel us
    • to go out
    • to sow the seed,
    • Sowing with tears over the lost & rejoicing over the news of the gospel, that is their only hope!
  • In Mark.4, Jesus told the parable, of: sower going out to sow.
  • He cast the seed out as best he could
    • Some fell on the hard ground
    • Some fell on the rocky ground
    • Some fell on the thorny ground
    • Some fell on the good soil
  • In every case, whatever the listener’s state of heart be:
    • hard ground, or rocky, or thorny, or good soil,
  • the Word of God sown – proclaimed, will Not return void!
  • For those who hear and reject,
    • God will demand an accounting
  • For those who hear respond, but ultimately turn away,
    • God will demand an accounting
  • For those who hear, respond w/ belief, repentance & Salvation
    • God will welcome them into glory
  • Our concern is not so much for their responding,
  • Our concern is in the sowing, the telling, the spreading of seed
  • The promise of scripture is wonderful and to be remembered
    • We sow in tears, tears of persecution, tears of martyrdom, tears of brokenness
    • We will reap with Joy!
    • We will return bringing the sheaves with us


So, What is the message for us for today?

  • God is doing His Wk of Salvation, Restorat’n & Revival, of Lost
  • God Invites us to be involved, to be used of Him in His Work

The call on us is:

  • to Remember God’s Past work of Restoration and the Joy we knew in those moments
  • to Pray for God’s Continued Blessing of Restoration & Revival
  • to Sow the Seeds of the Gospel Truth, w/ tears, that we may come again, to return w/ rejoicing, bringing the harvest w/ us.

Closing Prayer: