Celebrating The Harvest

Years ago a young minister visited Dundee, Scotland, deeply concerned that his ministry had very few results. He decided to visit the scene where years before Robert Murray McCheyne had ministered in such evident power of the Spirit of God. McCheyne died at the age of 30, but not before he had moved Scotland towards God. The visitor asked the caretaker at the church if he could tell him the secret of the amazing influence of Robert McCheyne. The old man led the young minister inside the church. “Sit down here,” he said. “Now put your elbows on the table.” He did so. “Yes, that was they way McCheyne used to do it,” said the old man. “Now put your face in your hands.” The visitor obeyed. “Now let the tears flow! That was the way McCheyne used to do!” Psalm 126 says “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (From John Phillips, Exploring Psalms, Vol. 2, pp. 478-479). More


This psalm turns from a hymn of praise to a prayer plea for restoration. The Jewish people were  celebrating a great deliverance; the captivity of Jerusalem had ended and they were free! They couldn’t  believe it; it seemed like a dream come true. A picture is given of how when the rain falls the dry gullies become rushing torrents. As the people beseech God, His blessings begin to overflow. The dry and empty waterways in  the desert are a good picture of our world of today. Just as the fullness of these waterways depend on the rains, the emptiness of this life depends on Jesus Christ to fill it (1:19). The idea of sowing and reaping is found throughout the Bible. We will not have a harvest if we sit and do nothing. The weeping, the pleading and the compassionate praying for the lost must come before a harvest of souls will be seen.

We can put the thesis of this psalm into one sentence that speaks volumes to us today: “The Lord has done great things with me; I am glad.” And we can recall that at the very end of the Bible we have the reassuring cry: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).


I need to think of some family members whose lives are dry and empty because they do not know the Lord. Make sure they are on the prayer pages of my diary. What are some ways I could have a positive witness to them. Example: How about sending them a good cassette tape?

Psalms 126:1-6 (English Standard Version)

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

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