Psalm 126: When Weeping Turns to Laughter (Song Review)

Psalm 126 is one of the fifteen “songs of ascents” in the beloved book of poetry and praise. This chapter tells of a people who were laughing, full of joy, and who thought they were dreaming because the Lord had done such wonderful things for them. The goodness of God was proclaimed among them and declared among the nations.

David proclaims that this restoration did not come without tears, brokenness, or desperation. The harvest came forth after the seed was sown with weeping. The dynamic of redemption is at play in v. 6:

He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing his sheaves with him.

It paints a beautiful picture of one who is overwhelmingly grateful for a harvest; he is walking away with sheaves stacked so high that he can barely see where he is going! He can’t stop rejoicing and singing songs of praise. He is not patting himself on the back. He has toiled and wept, and is now completely beside himself—in love with a generous Provider.

Some have said that this Psalm may even be a foreshadowing of the coming Christ who would be the seed sown by His weeping Father, which had to be sown in weeping and death in order to bring about the laughter and new life of a harvest of redemption.

On a recently released album (He Will Not Cry Out), Bifrost Arts has set this psalm to a new melody, beautifully sung by Molly Parden (Nashville, TN). The lyrics are taken directly from the psalm and artfully organized in a way that makes them singable while preserving their original worshipful purpose.

I love that when I sing or listen to this song I can see how God has restored me in different ways and will continue to do so. It also reminds me of the “harvest” I pray for in my own heart, my relationships, and in my life. It encourages me that the challenges and tears will only make the victory that much sweeter – not because of what I have done, but because of what only God can do. It is a moving reminder that our redeeming God is a God who replaces weeping with laughter—death with life.

Take a moment to listen to the song. You’ll find the lyrics printed below for your enjoyment.

Psalm 126

Our mouths they were filled, filled with laughter
Our tongues they were loosed, loosed with joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord
Although we are weeping
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy
The nations will say, “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord