Sowing In Tears!
Psalm 126 (READ)
Psalm 126 is about God’s deliverance of His nation Israel out of captivity. God sent Israel captive to the nations around about, because of their sins, especially their sins of idolatry. This Psalm may be referring to Israel’s deliverance from Babylonian captivity, which was their most protracted captivity experience since their bondage in Egypt.
We observe that it was God who turned again the captivity of His people, and liberated them, and brought them back into their own land. When His people were brought so low, and were humbled to such a place that they “sowed in tears of repentance,” as it were, then the Lord turned their weeping into rejoicing, and their hopeless state into a great harvest of His blessings.
This Psalm speaks 1) first of Israel’s past deliverances from captivity (verses 1-3); 2) secondly of their deliverance from captivity at the time of this writing (verse 4); 3) and thirdly it might also be speaking of their future and final deliverance (verses 5-6), which we know will take place at the end of the age. We don’t have time this morning to study all of these possibilities, but we always want to understand the primary meaning of the Scriptures, especially when they pertain to the nation of Israel.
Spiritually, this Psalm could be used to show the lost sinner’s deliverance from their sins. In salvation God brings lost sinners to a state of hopelessness and to tears of repentance over their sins, and then He saves them from their bondage to sin and Satan through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of the cross. What rejoicing and joy this brings to a saved sinner. What a harvest of spiritual blessings does the sinner receive in exchange for their tears of repentance.
This Psalm could also show a backslidden saint, who was taken captive because of their sins. By the chastening of the Lord they are brought to tears of repentance and godly sorrow over their sins, and then the Lord delivers them from their backslidden state, and restores them to their spiritual land again, and restores the joy of their salvation.
This morning we want to apply verses 5-6 to sowing the Gospel seed. We will notice four points, which include: 1) First, “he that goeth forth”; 2) Secondly, “sowing in tears”; 3) Thirdly, “bearing precious seed”; and 4) fourthly, “shall doubtless come again rejoicing.”
1. He that goeth forth.
1) Sowing requires that we go forth are bear, or plant the seed.
Sowing requires getting up off our stools. To go to work we must first get up. Sowing requires going out into fields. We must leave the comforts of our home. Sowing requires labor. We can’t just stand and stare at the ground. Sowing requires thoroughness. Sowing can’t be done haphazardly or hit and miss. Sowing requires consistency. Sowing should be done steadily and continuously. Sowing requires endurance. It takes spiritual strength to keep sowing in all conditions. So we see that sowing requires going forth into the fields of the world and laboring.
2) Who should “go forth to sow”.
Anyone who wants a spiritual harvest. That is, anyone who desires to see sinners saved! Anyone who wants a soul-winner’s reward from the Lord. I believe there is a soul winners crown! Anyone who is saved, who has experienced the joy and blessings of salvation ourselves should sow.
2. Sowing in tears.
1) Why might the sower shed tears?
Because of our own unworthiness. The sower knows he is wretched and sinful. Because of our inability. We are poor planters, and we sure can’t make seed to grow. Because of our past failures. We’ve sown year after year, yet we’ve not had a harvest. Because of unfavorable planting conditions. The world is cold and perilous times are in the land. Because of poor soil conditions. The hearts of lost sinners are dry, stony, and sterile.
2) What do tears represent?
Sorrow and sadness. Sadness over dead, sin-blinded sinners that are perishing in hell. Solemnity and seriousness. Sowing is a solemn business. Salvation of sinners is serious. Sincerity. Tears are the language of the heart. Tears say that we really care about souls. Supplication. Tears are the language of effectual and fervent prayer that will avail much.
3) What good are tears?
Tears get the Lord’s attention. The Lord may not hear our words, but He hears our tears. Tears reap the grace an tender mercies of the Lord, as our text implies. Tears get the sinner’s attention. It is hard to refuse and reject tears of love and concern.
4) What if we have no tears?
Does your pastor ever cry? Are you kidding? Did John Wayne, or General Grant ever cry? Now general Lee may have cried! Yes beloved, even this hard headed preacher sheds tears. I heard of a preacher who never cried (Bill Smith, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church for 40 years). Yet no one doubted his love and concern for souls. Though our tears may not flow from our eyes, if they flow from our hearts, then they are still tears. Our tear ducts may be dry, but may our hearts overflow with tears of love for sinners.
3. Bearing precious seed.
1) What is the seed?
Jesus is the promised SEED of Abraham. Through Jesus, the seed of Abraham, all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 28:14). In John 12:24 Jesus said that “…Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” As a seed, Jesus died on the cross, and was sown in the heart of the earth, and in three days He sprung up to life eternal to bring forth much fruit unto salvation. All who will receive this SEED, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be saved from their sins, and shall receive the free gift of eternal life.
The Gospel seed. The Gospel seed is the message of Jesus, about His work on the cross to save sinners. All who receive the Gospel seed by faith, will have eternal life spring-up in their souls.
Yes beloved, the seed is most precious to all lost sinners who can receive it by faith.
2) Why is the Gospel seed precious?
Because there is a limited supply. Not many are sowing the true SEED today. Because there may only be time for one planting. Sinners may not have a second opportunity to hear to Gospel! Because it has power to give life when the heart is watered with the grace of Holy Spirit. Because it brings forth a good product. It brings forth new, and eternal, and holy lives. Because Jesus, the One who gave the seed to us, is precious. Anything that He creates and gives to us is very precious and eternally valuable.
In conclusion we want to notice the phrase “Shall doubtless come again rejoicing.”
1) “…come again…”
This phrase is referring to the harvest. We went out time and again weeping, sowing precious seed in all kinds of weather, and now there is going to be a harvest for us. We are going to come again, not with tears but with joy as in time of harvest.
2) “…shall doubtless…”
This is a sure promise of God. There is no doubt that if we sow the Gospel in tears, we shall reap a harvest of souls. I believe that we can stand on this promise if we are sowers of the Gospel. All of God’s promises are sure and He will make them good.
With harvest there is always great joy and rejoicing. I can think of no greater joy than that of seeing souls saved by the grace of God. Can you imagine the rejoicing in Heaven when we see all the souls saved as a result of our sowing in tears down here?
4) “…Bringing His sheaves with him…”
Yes, the faithful sower will see the results of his “…sowing in tears…”. Perhaps we will see the results of our sowing in this life. God may permit us to see souls come forth and serve Him in His church. How we long for this today!!! But whether we see it in this life or not, surely we will see the fruits of our sowing in the life to come!
“Sheaves” also implies a bountiful harvest. We may not see many results down here, but if we sow faithfully, and bountifully, and consistently and thoroughly, there will be a bountiful harvest.
May the Lord help our church to go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, because doubtless we shall come again rejoicing, bringing our sheaves with us.