Those who sow in tears
will reap with a song of joy. Psalm 126:5, TLV

We stood overlooking Jerusalem — for the very first time. Our tour leader Rabbi Jonathan Bernis was giving us a sneak peak into the Holy City, but we wouldn’t officially enter its streets for another day. Our normally talkative group was silent as he read Psalm 126:

A Song of Ascents.
When Adonai restored the captives of Zion,
it was as if we were dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with a song of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
Adonai has done great things for them.”
Adonai has done great things for us
    —we are joyful!
Restore us from captivity, Adonai,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with a song of joy.
 Whoever keeps going out weeping,
    carrying his bag of seed,
will surely come back with a song of joy,
    carrying his sheaves.

We stood in longing and anticipation. Bob and I looked at each other, threatening to pinch the other’s arm. Were we dreaming? Because it seemed impossible for us to be in Israel. The trip itself was a gift and miracle.

Their gift is also ours

But, the true miracle and gift to us — and to all redeemed children of the Most High God — was the restoration of Israel as foretold in Scriptures. Because without that restoration, our Heavenly Father’s words would be false. A lie.

Israel is not a symbol. Israel is real. Flesh and bone. Rock and stone. Beauty and ruggedness. Real.

They have sown in tears and will reap in joy. If God’s words are true for Israel and His covenant people, then they are true for us His adopted and grafted “wild” children (Romans 11). We need to count on that.

Please pray Psalm 122.

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