When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
Bring back our captivity, O LORD,
As the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
The psalm writer is thinking about when Israel first began to return from Babylonian captivity. It was a wonderful time, like a dream full of laughter and joy. It was a God thing. But he also realizes that there is still more that needs to be done — there are still others in captivity, and even those who are already free are still under the dominion of foreign kings. The psalm writer is living between the “comings,” between the first release from captivity and the final fulfillment, and that means there is still much sowing to be done and much reaping. There are still many tears to be shed but also much rejoicing, for the greater harvest is yet to come.
Like the psalm writer, we too are living between the “comings.” Between the first coming of King Jesus into the world to establish the kingdom of God, and the second coming when He will return and the kingdom of God will fill all the earth. In between, however, the kingdom increases and multiplies. Like a mustard seed that a man sows in his garden. It is a small seed, yet when it is sown it becomes a large tree where birds can nest in its branches (Luke 13:18-19). The kingdom is like leaven that a woman works into a large batch of flour. It is a small amount, yet when it is activated and released into the dough it grows and multiplies until it permeates the whole lump and changes it completely.
Jesus taught the disciples to pray to the Father, “Your kingdom, come. Your will, be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And His kingdom has come, and His will has already begun to be done on earth as it is in heaven. But it has not yet come in all its fullness, so we keep praying, and watching, and sowing.
King Jesus has ascended to the throne at the right hand of the father, the place of ruling and reigning. When He returns, there will be a great rejoicing and the harvest will be complete.
We live between the “comings.”
Let Earth Receive Her King
Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom of God
by Jeff Doles
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