Psalm 126 is written to celebrate freedom of the Israelites from captivity. In providing for the people to return to their land the “Lord restored the fortunes” [verse 1] of the people. Harps, cymbals and drums that had laid at rest during the captivity could again be sounded. The people’s tongues could be loosened. The people carolled in joyous praise [verse 2]. The change of state was surprising and delightful for the people who “were like those who dreamed” [verse 1]. That is, the change of the people’s situation absorbed all of their senses – everything seemed special and exciting to them. The people were free.
The chorus the people sung is identified in verse 3:
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3It is a chorus that Simeon later sung, in a different form, when his prayers were answered in the birth of Christ. For Simeon recognised that the season of awaiting God’s salvation was done: “you may now dismiss your servant in peace.” Luke 2:29 NIV.
Let us be joyous daily of the great things God has done. The freedom the Israelites gained on release from bondage was a precursor to the freedom that would come through Christ. The freedom of the Israelites raised songs of joy. Our freedom, and knowledge of all the great things God has done for us in Christ, should raise songs of joy.