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Psalm 126

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Purity, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Sowing in Tears-Reaping in Joy Psalm 126

    I will be focusing on Psalm 126 over coming weeks for a class on March 19th - these will be working notes, so please feel free as usual to add your comments.

    Psalm 126 proclaims God as the One who brings good out of evil. God is the God of hope, for the future lies in his hands. God can resurrect what is past and can give renewal and life to his faithful people. Also, every calamity can be a sowing time if, remembering God's past goodness, we have patience to await his season.

    In this sense there are similarities between Psalm 126 and the book of Joel.

    In addition to references about "restoring the fortunes" (Ps 126:1, 4; Joel 3:1), Joel moves from articulation of need (1:2-2:17) to the promise of God's response (2:18-3:21).

    Joel 1:2–20 compared with Joel 2:21–27 "Restoring Judah fortunes"

    Elders are to remember, mourn, and tell the story for generations to come (Joel 1:2–3)
    People will have plenty and will praise and never again be shamed (Joel 2:26–27)

    The four locust swarms eat everything (Joel 1:4)
    People are repaid for the damage of the four locust swarms (Joel 2:25)

    Wine is gone and oil fails (Joel 1:5, 10)
    Wine and oil restored (Joel 2:24)

    Grain depleted and granaries ruined (Joel 1:10–11, 17)
    Grain restored and threshing floors full (Joel 2:4)

    Trees are stripped bare (Joel 1:12, 19)
    Trees bear fruit (Joel 2:22)

    Animals dying (Joel 1:18, 20)
    Animals have pasture (Joel 2:22)

    Land “burned up” (Joel 1:19–20)
    Land “not afraid” (Joel 2:21)

    Jesus' Sermon on the Mount echoes Psalm 126:5-6:
    "Blessed are those who mourn" (Matt 5:4).

    Even more directly, Jesus speaks about sowing, death, resurrection, and fruit-bearing:

    "[If] a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, … it bears much fruit" (John 12:24-25), or tells of rejoicing following weeping (John 16:20).

    Paul also refers to sowing in speaking about death and resurrection (1 Cor 15:35-38, 42-44).

    Job is also a good example of one having his fortunes

    "restored the fortunes". The same phrase has the general sense of restoring of fortunes (and/or healing of diseases) in Job 42:10, where the blessings include, incidentally, long life and many children (cp Psa 127:3; Psa 128:3; Psa 128:6)!

    Psalm 126
    A song of ascents.
    126 When the Lord restored the well-being of Zion,
    we thought we were dreaming.
    2 At that time we laughed loudly
    and shouted for joy.
    At that time the nations said,
    “The Lord has accomplished great things for these people.”
    3 The Lord did indeed accomplish great things for us.
    We were happy.
    4 O Lord, restore our well-being,
    just as the streams in the arid south are replenished.
    5 Those who shed tears as they plant
    will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
    6 The one who weeps as he walks along, carrying his bag of seed,
    will certainly come in with a shout of joy, carrying his sheaves of grain.

    The timing of Joels prophecy was preexilic with Psalm 126 post exilic.

    We know the following:

    1.A nation innumerable and powerful had come up upon the nation upon the land of Judah (Joel 1:6; 2:3-6; 2:20) from the north it was like wave upon wave.
    2.Jewish sun and moon darkened as a result of the forces Joel 2:20
    3.The Temple was still in operation Joel 2:13-14 but their services were in decline Joel 1:9,16
    4.The land was experiencing severe famine and drought Joel 1:9-10,17,18,20
    5.The people way of living was hypocritical and not in accordance to their faith.
    6.Their impending captivity would one day be reversed Joel 3:1
    7.This invasion by a northern army in chapter 2 will take place at a future time in chapter 3.
    8.Edom and Egpyt will be judged for their treatment of Judah's people. Joel 3:5-6.19 and Joel 3:19
    9.Kings such as Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedikiah all witnessed swarms of armies coming into the land 2 Kings 24 & 2 Kings 25. Jeremiah 1:13-16 like a lion Jeremiah 50:17 and a hoard of locusts Jeremiah 5:15-17
    10.Priests stained with blood and Zedikiah taken captive. 2 Chron 36:17-20
    11.The declining priescthood can be read in Ezek 8
    12.Draught and famine Jeremiah 14:1-12
    13.Hypocrisy Jeremiah 7:1-11 Jer 4:14
    14.Sacking of the temple began in Jehoikiams reign and ended in Zedekiah 2 Chron 36:7-16 Edom treachery Ezek 35:5-6 – Egypt help destroy Judah 2 Chron 36:1-4

    No other minor prophet takes us so far into the future as Joel – whereas Amos is dealing with prophecies mainly to do with Israel and her neighbors and closes with the restoration of Israel. Joel deals with those coming judgments upon Judah, that takes us prophetically right into the Kingdom age.

    Most of what is written by Joel has never taken place in Israel’s history:

    So here are some facts:

    1. Joel 2:1
    Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear, for the day of the LORD is about to come. Indeed, it is near! A great Day of Yahweh coming and it was nigh at hand – it is near! And this was the day Judah’s commonwealth would come to an end. It’s also important you should know that Judah alone is mentioned in these prophecies – though Israel would have witnessed these events, nowhere in the book is Israel directly mentioned. So we are speaking of Judah and Jerusalem the destruction of the temple and all that went with its demise.

    2. Joel 1:6 For a nation has invaded our land. There are so many of them they are too numerous to count. Their teeth are like those of a lion; they tear apart their prey like a lioness. So we are speaking of a nation which is innumerable and very powerful and whose symbol was the Lion. Clearly Babylon as was experienced later through Daniel.

    The temple worship was winding down Joel 1:9
    No one brings grain offerings or drink offerings to the temple of the LORD anymore. So the priests, those who serve the LORD, are in mourning. AND Joel 1:16 Our food has been cut off right before our eyes!

    There is no longer any joy or gladness in the temple of our God!

    So the Temple is in operation but the services are winding down. We also know the wall of the city were still standing. They were practicing idolatry between the porch and the altar.

    Joel 2:17. Between the temple porch and the altar. The area between the porch and the altar is a place of limited access. Only the priest would have reason to proceed beyond the altar toward the temple. But it was also used to stage important public acts. In Ezekiel 8:16 this is the area where syncretistic sun worship was being carried out by twenty-five men. In 2 Chron 24:21 this is the area in which the prophet Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, was stoned to death (see Mt 23:35).

    1:10 The crops of the fields have been destroyed. The ground is in mourning because the grain has perished. The fresh wine has dried up; the olive oil languishes.

    So the land is in a terrible famine at the time of this prophecy. Jer 14:1,2

    14:1 The LORD spoke to Jeremiah1 about the drought. 14:2 “The people of Judah are in mourning. The people in her cities are pining away. They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow. Cries of distress come up to me from Jerusalem.

    A great drought plague the land during this time of Jeremiah and Joel and rightly so as it only reflected the state and bareness of the people just before the exile into Babylon.

    The similarities between Zephaniah and Joel are also worth considering as they paint a picture of this time and the judgements which here coming on Judah. They could have prophesies simultaneously as Judah spiralled down and down until its day of captivity.

    So it’s a picture of impending distress:

    • A strong, lion-like power would invade (Joel 1:6).
    • The Temple in Jerusalem still existed (Joel 2:13,14) and its services were taking place, but they were either beginning to decline, or prophetically would do so in the near future (Joel 1:9,16).
    • The people were wayward and hypocritical. The plea to turn to the LORD their God, rending their hearts and not their garments (Joel 2:12,13), implies outward piety alone –reformation within was urgently needed.
    • There was famine (Joel 1:9,10,17) and drought (Joel 1:18,20).
    • All these factors point to a time near to the end of the state of Judah.


    Sowing in Tears-Reaping in Joy Psalm 126

    My Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ
    There can be no reasonable doubt as to the occasion on which psalm 126 was composed, and as we delve into its depths I am sure we will find it to be most likely sung by the retuning captives who went up to Jerusalem. Was it composed before their captivity and intended to be kept in remembrance? I do not know.
    It may also have been written soon after their return. The unknown author speaks as being one of them being able to describe the feelings of those people who were in exile. The author was no doubt with his people in their suffering and he clearly return to the land - verse 1 & 2 clearly indicate his empathy.

    126:1 When the LORD restored the well-being of Zion,1
    we thought we were dreaming.2
    126:2 At that time we laughed loudly and shouted for joy.3

    The author was looking at these people and no doubt sharing in their experience he likened them to “dreamers”. And what type of dreaming are we speaking about? Well Verse 3 implies

    126:3 The LORD did indeed accomplish great things for us.
    We were happy.

    So keeping this rather simple the people here “were like dreamers”, such was their joy and gladness of heart they walked around in a state of ecstatic joy. Come over with me to Isa 29:7-8 where we get the idea of dreaming.

    29:7 It will be like a dream, a night vision.
    There will be a horde from all the nations that fight against Ariel, (meaning Jerusalem) mean “lion of God” and others “hearth of God
    those who attack her and her stronghold and besiege her.
    29:8 It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating,
    only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty.
    It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking,
    only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched.
    So it will be for the horde from all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.

    Whereas here the people are caught fantasizing about pleasurable experiences in their sleep, the reality of Psalm 126 is they are consciously awake experiencing dream like conditions.
    This is a community who have experienced Gods renewed favour which is comparable to a prophet receiving divine visions such is the awe and wonder of their circumstances.
    Now some of the older manuscripts translate verse 1 with a slight change but as we explore this Psalm the importance of which will soon appear.

    “We were like those restored to health.”¹

    Zion was very sick and its population in very poor health.

    Certainly the language is pointing us to a particular time in Israel and Judah history where they suffered tremendously for their sins and neglecting of the covenant.

    Notice verse 4?

    126:4 O Lord, restore our well-being,
    just as the streams in the arid south are replenished.5

    The Hebrew “like the streams in the Negev.”

    These usually dry wadis collect water on rainy days from vast areas. The situation is also aggravated by floods from the desert mountains and southern Judah. For a day or two or, more frequently, for only a few hours they turn into dangerous torrents.

    • [​IMG]
    God’s people were experiencing a “dry season” after a time of past blessing; they pray here for a “flash flood” of his renewed blessing. This does not imply that they are requesting only a brief display of God’s blessing. Rather the point of comparison is the suddenness with which the wadis swell during a rain, as well as the depth and power of these raging waters. The community desires a sudden display of divine favour in which God overwhelms them with blessings.

    It is evident from Psalm 126:5 there was still some trouble—something that might be called a “captivity,”— from which the psalmist prays that they might be delivered; and the object of the psalm would seem to be in part, in that trial to find encouragement from the former interposition of God in their case.

    As Yahweh had “turned the captivity of Zion,” as He had filled their “mouth with laughter,” so the psalmist prays that He would again interpose in similar circumstances, and renew His goodness. It is, of course, now impossible to determine precisely to what this refers. It may be a portion of the people remained in exile; or it may be to some other captivity or danger to which they were exposed after their return.
    The psalmist, however, expresses entire confidence that there would be such interposition, and that, though then in trouble, they would have joy, such as the farmer has who goes forth sowing his seed with weeping, and who comes with joy in the harvest, bearing his sheaves with him
  2. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    If the Book of Joel was written 4th or 5th century, we might ask how quotes such as Ps 126:2-3 and Joel 2:21 compare. The timing of Psalm 126 is important but not essential in understanding its content though the similarities to Joel are impressive.


    PSALMS 126


    1. The usual historical setting for this psalm is seriously called in question by Rotherham. He has two reasons for doing so, Discuss them.
    2. Rotherham concedes the possibility of a post-exilic date but doubts it. Discuss.
    3. Read 2 Chron 32 and Isaiah 37. Discuss your agreement (or disagreement) with Rotherham.


    Psa 126:1

    PSS 126-128: The miraculous prolonging of Hezekiah's days, so that he could have a family to fulfill the promises.

    Psalms 126--128 are the central songs of the Songs of Degrees, the high point in expression of the spiritual types of Hezekiah's life. Christ is seen in every verse, in every image. What is most wonderful in the contemplation of them is the magnificent way in which the commonplace becomes profound, and the natural becomes spiritual. When the image of Christ is stamped thereupon, the base currency of everyday life becomes the finest gold. The simplest sights and actions glow forth with the most sublime meaning. Sowing and reaping, sleeping and waking, are transformed into rich parables of faith -- every detail of these ordinary actions now alive with significance. The house and the city and the gate are places never again to be inhabited or visited in the heedless manner of earlier days; now each is enlisted to the service of Christ: his "Father's house", the "city of the great king", the "gate of his enemy" now possessed by the Eternal Conqueror.

    We seat ourselves at the family table for our evening meal, and suddenly we find that the Master is there. The bread is his body, precious seed cast into the ground to die and bring forth much fruit; we are that fruit! The wine is his blood, the blood of the True Vine, and we are his branches! The oil is the light of that perfect Life; in the darkest of all nights he knelt among the gnarled olive trees of Gethsemane while we slept heedlessly -- he is the tree of life, and we are like him: little olive plants round his table!

    "So shall no part of day or night
    From sacredness be free;
    But all our life in every step
    Be fellowship with thee."

    Step by step, "degree" by "degree", we ascend into the presence of God. Our daily routine is transformed into life on a higher level -- a life lived to the fullest even now, because lived in joyful contemplation of eternity with Christ.

    BROUGHT BACK THE CAPTIVES: Though the AV implies a return from captivity (and of course there was such a return), the Hebrew seems to allow for a more spiritual application: ie, "restored the fortunes". The same phrase has the general sense of restoring of fortunes (and/or healing of diseases) in Job 42:10, where the blessings include, incidentally, long life and many children (cp Psa 127:3; 128:3,6)!

    WE WERE LIKE MEN WHO DREAMED: We just couldn't believe it', or, 'It was like coming out of a nightmare.'

    Psa 126:2
    SONGS OF JOY: The songs of Isa 38:10-20 and Psa 120-134. And even among the Gentiles are the mighty deeds of Yahweh magnified and glorified (see 2Ch 32:23).

    It is conceivable, to go a step further, that the returning captives of Assyria (Psa 120:5) bring with them a "mixed multitude": "We will go with you," they seem to say, "for we perceive that God is with you [Immanuel!]" (Zec 8:23; cp Psa 122:1,2).

    Psa 126:4
    STREAMS: "Aphikim" = channels or gorges. Job compared his three companions to such deceitful brooks of the south country, which in the spring are filled with water, but in the heat of summer are dried up to the dismay of thirsty travelers (Job 6:15-20). This annual phenomenon eloquently describes the vacillating fortunes of Israel throughout her history.

    Perhaps more to the point, this vivid figure of speech may refer to the 200,000 returning captives: picture a wadi in the Negeb without a sign of moisture in it (not a difficult task in Texas! or Australia? but in England?!). Then, as a result of a thunderstorm in the hills, there comes a mighty rush of floodwaters. So also with the road back to Zion -- first it is empty of travelers, and then suddenly it is inundated with an eager continuous stream of rejoicing former captives intent on getting back home as fast as their legs can carry them!

    Psa 126:5
    Sowing: what to sow (Luk 8:11), what not to sow (Deu 22:9), how to sow (Psa 126:5,6), when to sow (Ecc 11:6), reward of sowing (1Co 15:58).

    REAP WITH SONGS OF JOY: The literal reference is surely to the amazing prosperity which the God-blessed Year of Jubilee brought after the preceding year of devastating invasion (2Ki 19:29; Isa 37:30; v 31 there describes the return of the captives, according to Lev 25:10). But the anticipation of such extraordinary fertility would require the faith of the farmer, to sacrifice perhaps his last stores of seed in hope of the wonderful harvest. Cp also the "kingdom" picture of Amos 9:13,14: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them [Psa 127:1]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof [Psa 128:3]; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them."

    "There is something very touching about the courage and faith and self-sacrifice of the small farmer who, when sowing time comes, must take of his little store of seed and give it up, sacrificing it beyond recall when he places it in its bed of earth. The loss may mean less food for many days; but to hold it back would mean permanent loss, for if it is saved to be eaten there will be no harvest, and no seed for further sowings. Such experiences of the conflict of present need and future good would be known to almost every generation of Israelites with their recurring periods of drought and bad harvests. On occasions the seed was sown with tears in the acuteness of a felt hunger. But the Psalmist says, 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him' " (CJo 137).

    Psa 126:6
    (NT) The resurrection of Christ: the grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying, so as to bring forth much fruit (Joh 12:24). First sorrow, then joy, that a child has been born (Joh 16:21,22).

    SEED TO SOW: Or "precious (meshek) seed" (AV). From rt "to draw out", as from a bag or container (sw Amo 9:13; Job 28:18).

    SHEAVES: Cp Lev 23:11, the symbolism of the "wave sheaf".

    "Blessed are they that mourn (now), for they shall be comforted" (Mat 5:4). No one but the Master can so touch the heart and spirit of man, and convince us that our consolation shall be infinitely sweeter than any bitter affliction. Our thoughts are transported from the days of the Psalmist to those of the Roman occupation, when God's people wept in the long night of Zion's captivity. In their bondage they cried to God for a deliverer, and He heard them. But God's timetable again called for a sowing in tears before there could be a reaping in joy: "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).

    From the hill of death, as the shadows lengthened, a little group trudged their forlorn way to a new tomb carved out of a hillside. There they deposited their precious burden; the hungry earth reclaimed its own. The "seed" was planted and watered with their tears, and they returned in sorrow to their homes. Daylight came, and night, and day again, and behold... a stirring! The annual miracle of sowing and reaping found its counterpart in a "harvest" of the highest order. God gave the increase, the "seed" sprouted and grew, though man knew not how.

    "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. Ye now therefore have sorrow," he had told them. "But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:21,22).

    Into the city they ran, with a song of joy on their lips and in their hearts. It is a "harvest song" of thanksgiving which has never ceased from that day to this, no, nor ever shall. It is a song passed from one to another, sung by each new generation with a wonder that is always fresh. It is a song of joy to gladden the heart of the weariest disciple with the prospect of a day when all tears shall cease (Rev 21:4), and the sorrowful sowing of the "night" will be only a memory.
  3. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Question: Why is it so important for the surrounding nations to witness Zion's deliverance? See Psalm 126:2

    Ezek 37:28 Then, when my (Yahweh) sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel.’

    Prophecy to be fulfilled:

    The Gentile nations will recognize that this restoration and reunification of Israel, with God’s Temple in the midst of them, means that Israel’s God is indeed the only true God. The Hebrew word for sanctuary means “My holy place,” emphasizing the holiness of it. The Hebrew word for evermore is le olam, which means “for an age.”

    Christ is the only man to have entered into the divine sanctuary; to God Himself Heb 9:1,11.

    Ezek 37:27 must then imply Gods Holy divine sanctuary will be on earth. "and place my sanctuary among them forever" This cannot be an earthy sanctuary like that of the tent made with hands.

    Ezekiel’s vision of the two sticks concludes with the promise that God will set up His Temple, His Tabernacle, His Sanctuary, His dwelling place, in the midst of the children of Israel - completely united under one King.

    Within this Psalm is an inherent problem with Zion and her captivity, the sinfulness of its people has caused her bareness and lack of water. They like Abraham looked for a city whose builder and architect is God. Heb 11:10

    Ezek 37:28 speaks of a sanctuary in Israel's "midst forevermore." Ezekiel looks for a renewed city of God (chs Ezek Chapters 40 - 48. More than six hundred years later John had a similar vision (Rev 21), but of a city that needed no temple building (Rev 21:22). OR DOES IT?


    "And I saw no temple therein"

    For "temple" render nave or most holy. The Tabernacle and Temple of the past were divided into Holy and Most Holy places, but in this new Jerusalem that distinction is not found. The reason is that the Holy Place in the Tabernacle or Temple represents the mortal state of believers,
    whilst the Most Holy represents the immortal state (cp. Heb. 10:19-20). In the new Jerusalem will be found only immortals.

    "For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it"

    Therefore, it is entirely Most Holy. For the use of the divine title see Rev. 4:8. The Most Holy represents Yahweh in multitudinous manifestation revealed in the great company of the Redeemed: God in multiplicity, manifested in a community then made "equal unto the angels." The titles Lord God Almighty and The Lamb draw attention to three parties: Yahweh, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Redeemed. Yahweh will be glorified in His Son and Christ's brethren, and they will form the Most Holy of the Age to come.

    This was foreshadowed in the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and the Temple, for in them were found the Mercy Seat pointing to Christ; the Cherubim foreshadowing the Saints; and the Shekinah Glory being the token of Yahweh's indwelling presence. All this is summed up in the statement: "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Most Holy of it."

    1. The Nations have said Yahweh has done great things Ps 126:2
    2. Mary in Luke 1:49,51 said Yahweh has done great things (See Jer 32:19)
    3 Israel will one day exalt God among the nations to tell of His great things He has done (Isa 12:3,4 )
    4 Joels prophecy asks the question speaking to the present and future works of God in Judah in Joel 2:20,21 Forgiveness for Judah/Judgment on Nations: Northern Army Destroyed Ezek 38,39
    5. Gods justice is cause for praise Psalm 71:19 Heb “you who have done great things.”

    A prayer for great things - Matt 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14; 19-26

    God’s Marvellous Works - Psalm 9
    Once again it will be seen that the Pslamist’s own experiences melt away into the greater context of God’s Kingdom. He begins by praising (thanking) the Lord not with mere lip service but with his “whole heart” (Psalm 9:1 ) and continues with a description which can only be of God’s final victory over sin and unrighteousness. His expression of thanks includes showing forth God’s “marvellous works”—rehearsing before the people the many unique and wonderful things which God has done. It was a failing of Israel that “they forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt” (Psalm 106:21) and in so doing soon came to “despise the pleasant land” (Psalm 106:24). It is not without purpose that we are counselled to keep in mind the great things which God has done for us lest we despise the prospect of the Kingdom.
    David declares that he will sing praise to God’s name, the name which is so full of purpose, embodying as it does His promise of deliverance to all who trust in Him (psalm 9:) and which stands in great contrast to the names of the heathen which are to be “put out for ever” (Psalm 9:5 ). Note how in verse 5 “heathen” is equated with “wicked”, showing that God’s Kingdom is much more than a mere political thing and is concerned with wickedness and righteousness. It is concerned with the “generating” of a people after His own image and the destruction of all that would hinder this.
    Psalm 9:4 describes the answer to the Psalmist’s prayer of Psalm 7:6,7—God has arisen and now sits upon His throne. He has judged the peoples in righteousness. Man’s “destructions” are come to an end and his “memorials” are perished with them. How true that the works of the wicked are described as “destructions” and that the very thing which they wish to prolong will “perish”. In contrast, the Lord shall endure for ever; His “throne is prepared” and He has given this to His son who will “judge the world in righteousness” and “shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Psalm 9:7,8 cp Psalm 2 and Luke 1:32,33).

    Notes on the Fig Tree

    Luke 13:6-9

    Luke 13:6“A fig tree” - A symbol of Israel Joel 1:7. (See notes on Matt 24)
    “Planted in a vineyard” - to provide fruit and shade in summer, but it was only tolerated if it did
    not affect the vines.
    “Sought fruit thereon” - NB Hos 9:10 Micah 7:1 cp Mk 11:12-13. This one was not producing
    the main crop, for no first ripe figs were found!!
    Luke 13:7 “Dresser of Vineyard” - “Vine Worker” - this is the Lord Jesus, in charge of the vineyard Isa 5:1,
    as Adam was in Eden! Gen 2:15
    “Three years” - last six months of the Lord’s Ministry. For three years he had been looking for
    fruit Matt 7:15-16.
    “Cut it down” - At the start of the three years John had warned them Matt 3:8-10. NB type under
    the law Lev 19:23-25.
    “Cumbereth the ground” - “To render useless” (Roth). Not only of itself unfruitful, but now badly
    affecting the vineyard.
    Luke 13:8 “Let it alone this year” - The last year of his grace. Yahweh gave them nearly 40 years more!!
    The longsuffering of God waited!!
    “Dig ….Dung it” - Fruit production depends finally on Heavens blessing Deut 33:13-14. Earthly
    preparation is necessary Hos 10:9 - Jesus had done this!
    Luke 13:9 “And if it bear fruit” - omit “well” – an unfinished sentence 2 Pet 1:8
    “Cut it down” - RSV: “You can cut it down” - The owners prerogative!

    Prayer for Great Things

    Jesus sees a fig tree barren of fruit, prays it never will bear fruit, and it withers. He uses the object lesson to teach that the disciples by prayer and by faith can see such great things done.

    Mark clarifies the sequence. Jesus pronounced the prayer curse one morning (Matt 21:12), and the fig tree dries up by the next morning. In the interval, Jesus casts out temple profiteers and calls this a house of prayer (Matt 21:12-13). He also speaks words in John 12:20-50. Here, seeing the fig tree incident through to the withering does not deny ministry that intervened (cf. the prayer scenario placed after this one).
  4. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Psalm 126:4-6

    A prayer for peace and plenty

    But one must look back to God promise for deeper understanding of this Psalm.

    Restoration through Confession and Repentance

    Lev 26:39 “‘As for the ones who remain among you, they will rot away because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies, and they will also rot away because of their ancestors’ iniquities which are with them. 40 However, when they confess their iniquity and their ancestors’ iniquity which they committed by trespassing against me, by which they also walked in hostility against me 41 (and I myself will walk in hostility against them and bring them into the land of their enemies), and then their uncircumcised hearts become humbled and they make up for their iniquity, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 The land will be abandoned by them in order that it may make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them, and they will make up for their iniquity because they have rejected my regulations and have abhorred my statutes. 44 In spite of this, however, when they are in the land of their enemies I will not reject them and abhor them to make a complete end of them, to break my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God. 45 I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out from the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”

    Ever noticed how God reverses the patriarchs?

    Abraham, Isaac & Jacob?

    105:1 Give thanks to the Lord!
    Call on his name!
    Make known his accomplishments among the nations!
    105:2 Sing to him!
    Make music to him!
    Tell about all his miraculous deeds!
    105:3 Boast about his holy name!
    Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
    105:4 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives!
    Seek his presence continually!
    105:5 Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,
    his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed,1
    105:6 O children2 of Abraham,3 God’s4 servant,
    you descendants5 of Jacob, God’s6 chosen ones!
    105:7 He is the Lord our God;
    he carries out judgment throughout the earth.7
    105:8 He always remembers his covenantal decree,
    the promise he made8 to a thousand generations—
    105:9 the promise9 he made to Abraham,
    the promise he made by oath to Isaac!
    105:10 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as a lasting promise,10
    105:11 saying,

    “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion of your inheritance.”

    The land also shall he left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
    And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God Lev 26:42-44.
    This is a remarkable passage of Scripture. Can you say that God is through with the nation Israel after you have read this passage? If you believe that God means what He says, then He is not through with them at all.

    2 Chron 37:30

    30 “This will be your reminder that I have spoken the truth: This year you will eat what grows wild, and next year what grows on its own. But the year after that you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 31 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit.

    Future = Amos 9:13


  5. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Structural analysis

    Psalm 126:1-3 The euphoria of redemption
    Psalm 126:4 The desire for complete release
    Psalm 126:5-6 Joy cometh in the morning

    This is the 7th of 15 songs written or compiled by Hezekiah King of Israel to commemorate both the joy of his miraculous healing and the drama of Gods victory over the hated Assyrian.

    See Isa 38:20

    When reading Psalm 126:1-3 it reads like the response of those released from death row. The Assyrians had ransack dozens of key cites in Israel capturing thousands of Jews, the siege at Jerusalem and the subsequent famine and distress which accompanied all this evil was in every sense of the word a captivity. And Yahweh had reversed all of it an instant.

    Look how Isaiah describes Sennacheribs invasion:

    Isa 7:18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25 - Assyrians a razor hired to shave the land bare
    Isa 8:7,8 - a torrent of water to flood the land and nearly drown all of Judah
    Isa 9:4;10:24,27;14:25 - a bird of prey hovering and poised ready to strike. A heartless task master flogging the hapless captive bent under the galling yoke

    Read them carefully!

  6. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Assyrians skinning or flaying their prisoners alive.


    It’s wasn’t about just facing death but unspeakable cruelty.

    As a citizen of Jerusalem you would have heard the blasphemous taunts of Rabshakah is quoted in 2 Kings 18:27–37 and Isaiah 36:12–20:

    Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

    Imagine those escapes coming out of surrounding cities and the stories they told were frightening.

    Further to this imagine hearing your King is gravely ill?

    The people on had one to turn too and that was God.

    [SIZE=12pt]Isaiah appealed to a remnant of faith – he beseeched them and they responded as Jerusalem briefly was transformed into a city of justice and judgement. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Isa 33:5. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Their faith in the restoration of their King and the defeat of the enemy resulted in the forgiveness of their sines. Isa 33:24; 53:5-6[/SIZE]
  7. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    PowerPoint is finished - it was a very rewarding study. My speaking notes are not grammatically correct as I usually speak verbatim.

    I appreciate we can be extremely lazy at times and often struggle to read through another's work to the extent we should; I believe for the diligent Christian there is a wealth of treasures hidden within this study (by no means exhaustive) which will enlighten the mind and strength the heart.
    Enjoy...and God bless your reading


    You will need to download it to read the notes under each slide.