Praise for God’s restoration from exile, and a prayer that God’s grace may continue until the people's joy is complete.
st. l = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-6
Psalm 126 is another of the fifteen "Songs of Ascents" (120-134) the Israelites sang as they went up to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Here Israel celebrates their restoration from exile, most likely the exile in Babylon. With joy so great that they felt as if they were dreaming, the people returned to Jerusalem full of laughter and praise for the great things God had done for them, evoking wonder even among unbelieving nations (st. 1). Having been so favored, the worshipers pray that God's acts of restoration may continue until those who "sow in tears" bring in a bountiful harvest with "songs of joy" (vv. 5-6)–in other words, until God makes their joy complete (st. 2). Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) paraphrased this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Advent; Lent; expressions of eschatological hope and joy.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook