“O Yahweh, turn our fate like the brooks in the Southland!” -Ps. 126.4
This remarkable prayer, which is sandwiched between a song and a promise, is filled with a note of despair and thirst which must again characterize the people of God in these last days. If Israel is not reduced to a cry unto the Lord, if she is self-sufficient and satisfied with mere democratic success, she will not be fit to cry out to the only One who can turn her fate “like the brooks in the Southland.” Regarding the brooks, hear Hans Joachim-Kraus:
There were at one time refreshing, life-giving waters available when Yahweh changed Zion’s fate (v. 1), but now the valleys of the brooks have dried up. The salvific vital strength has faded away. Prayer is now made to Yahweh that He might in miraculous ways create a renewal of the exhausted springs and change the fate of the community.”
(PSALMS: A Continental Commentary, Hans Joachim-Kraus; Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN; 1993, p. 450)
In the “song” of verses 1-3, we saw the spontaneous, jubilant burst of worship in the life of the community of Israel, which characterized past deliverances that had been wrought by Yahweh, but which will find its ultimate fulfillment at the end of the age.
In verse 4, we backtrack from the rejoicing of the remnant to the prayer which must emerge from their hearts before salvation will break into the earth at last. The “brooks in the Southland” may be a reference to the brooks of the Negev, but the image of fresh, bursting waters can be applied present and future salvation as well.
There were at one time refreshing, life-giving waters available, when Yahweh changed Zion’s fate (v. 1), but now the valleys of the brooks have dried up.
However you view this chapter, Israel, both now and at the end, is in need of a Church that will help walk her through the time of her greatest trouble, and point her mercifully to Yahweh, who will turn her fate “like the brooks in the Southland!”
Yet a self-sufficient Church which is confident in its programs and personalities is not that people which will set Yahweh forth in a time of friction and turbulence. We must ourselves cry out, “O Yahweh, turn our fate…”
Have you cried out to the Lord for the transformation of your life to the extent that His life now constitutes your day-to-day reality?