When Jehovah turned again the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
At that time our mouth was filled with laughter
And our tongue with a ringing shout.
At that time they said among the nations,
Jehovah has done great things for them.
Jehovah has done great things for us;
We are joyful.
Turn again, O Jehovah, our captivity,
Like the streams in the south.
— Psalm 126:1-4
Those who have entered into the church life after longing and seeking for it are filled with joy. There is no way they can describe it. All they can do is praise the Lord. This verse continues, “At that time they said among the nations, Jehovah has done great things for them.” When we enjoy the church life, even those in the world recognize that there is something different about us. Our joy is so great that even the world notices it. Eventually we can only say, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are joyful!” (v. 3). This is the conclusion of our initial enjoyment. Praise the Lord, we are so happy that we are in the church life!
The psalmist then says, “Turn again, O Lord, our captivity like the streams in the south” (v. 4). The first part of the psalm describes our initial experience of the church life. Once we are in the church life, eventually we long for a deeper turn….
We ourselves need a deeper turn. To pray according to this understanding is to tell the Lord, “Lord, I already came out of captivity positionally. I am no longer in Babylon. I am no longer in the world or in Christianity. I have come to Your testimony, and my stand is clear. I am for Christ and the church. But, Lord, look at me. There are still so many things that I have, and so many things that I enjoy, that are far from You. Lord, I am still in captivity. Positionally I am released, but experientially I am not released in full. I still have not yet been freed. I still have so many things which capture me.” When we realize this, then we pray, “Lord, turn again my captivity!”
Adapted from The Journey of Life, pages 59-60.
Tomorrow: “An Inward Turn”