‘When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream’. ‘Bring back our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south’, Ps. 126. 1, 4.
In the above quotations from Psalm 126 we have both a past memory and a present prayer. Both the memory and the prayer are concerned with the same thing - ‘captivity’. Really the word means ‘prosperity’ and speaks of a deliverance and blessed experience at the hand of the Lord when they had enjoyed refreshing and replenishing as His people.
So, the psalmist could remember a time when God touched their history with blessing to such a degree that they felt it could not be true – they were like dreamers having to pinch themselves to realize that it was happening. This could well have been the feeling of those returning exiles in the day when Zerubbabel and Joshua brought them to Jerusalem from Babylon after a seventy-year absence in captivity, Ezra 3. 1-2. It was then that they had both wept and shouted, verses 12, 13..
The truth is that we seem to have forgotten the days when God blessed us and we were in the enjoyment of His power having a dramatic sense of His presence. Looking at things as they are now has quickly dulled our senses and diluted the thrill of what we are, all within living memory of when God’s power and grace was easily seen amongst us. It was ‘then’ says the psalmist, that, ‘Our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with singing’. We are not too often these days bursting with reverent laughter or raising the joyful hymn of thunderous praise in the presence of our God. We seem to have lost it all and that’s because we have short memories of experiences not all that far back.
So lets think of those amazing times when God revived His work in our country and thousands were saved at vast evangelistic campaigns. Remember the times of ministry when hundreds came from all around and we had Bible Readings in the morning and two speakers who brought deep, powerful ministry to us for two sessions of Conference followed by a week of meetings? Remember full Sunday Schools and youth meetings packed to the doors and gospel meetings hushed with the Lord’s presence as Christ crucified was preached with conviction and souls were saved? Well, thank God for such memories! We were there and it was real.
Now let’s believe He can bring it back again. The ‘streams of the south’ were evident as the rains swept refreshingly in and the waters overflowed the barren deserts beyond so that they blossomed profusely. Clearly this is the work of God and there is no reaping without sowing and that with tears, v. 5, but this is not beyond us, is it? We have His ‘doubtless’, v. 6, to spur on our flagging faith and the assurance of the harvest to come!
Another issue of the magazine brings us into the good of some of these things. Make sure you read ‘The Eye of the Storm’ and ‘Winning souls with Tracts’ and you will see what I mean. This issue starts two new series, the first is the third set of Key Note Articles and this time they are based upon ‘The Family’; the other is on ‘Islam’ and a ‘need to know’ series of three articles from the pen of Malcolm Steer. We also have a follow up article on the subject of ‘Home Schooling’ by those that are convinced they should and have attempted it. Thank you for all your encouragement in the work of Precious Seed magazine. May the Lord be pleased to continue its widening influence and make it even more a blessing to His people as we await His return.
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