Take The Message Home: Restoring the Fortunes of Zion (Psalm 126)

Last week from Psalm 87 we surveyed the city of God, including the citizens who live there and the joy that is found there. This week from Psalm 126 we witness the people’s rejoicing of the restoration of Zion’s fortune after tremendous loss. God’s people express great hope that God will complete what He has begun!

In the first three verses of the Psalm, the people of God rejoice with laughter and singing as they begin to experience the restoration of the old fortunes of Zion.

  • Historically speaking, when did Israel experience national loss of the fortunes of Zion (Jerusalem)? When was the restoration of Jerusalem?
  • How is restoration after tragic loss the message of the whole Bible—the very pattern of the gospel?

In the final three verses, we learn that the restoration is incomplete, but the people of God remain hopeful for a full restoration in the future.

  • What are we intended to learn from the verse, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the stream in the Negeb”?
  • Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). How is this verse a commentary on verses 5-6 of Psalm 126?

Application Questions:

  • Matthew Henry said, “It is the repenting and reforming people that become the rejoicing people.” Are you searching for joy without living a life of repentance?
  • How do tears of sorrow become seeds of fruitfulness in God’s economy?
  • Personally, how might God be using your present (or past) affliction to enlarge your capacity for joy in God’s restoration? Be as specific as you can with your answer.
  • Think back and consider a time in your life where God restored something you cherished after experiencing great loss. Share the story with your HFG and take time to thank God once again for his kind restoration. Let the memory of God’s faithfulness move your heart to hope for the promised restoration at Christ’s return.

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