Psalm 126 is considered one of King David’s ‘Songs of Ascent’. The word ‘ascent’ implies an approach, a mounting or rising up. The meaning becomes clearer as we read on. Let’s apply the first two verses of this psalm that originally pertain to a conquered and beaten down Israel, to our nation, America.
“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting. Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’”
Most of us long for a former time when life seemed more carefree, work more satisfying, and the exercise of individual liberties, routine. But today, we are ‘like those who dream’ and then awaken to the stark reality of the way things have become.
It is understandable that we long for the days when we got ‘more bang for our buck’ and our pocket books justified the purchase of another material comfort or, perhaps, a vacation. But we must never forget that it was divine providence, God Himself, who established and prospered this land and made our hearts glad with such freedom. Our desire to see America’s fortunes restored must be motivated and driven by a desire that He be honored, and recognition that we prosper spiritually and materially only because of His goodness and generosity.
Let us resolve to make 2024 a Year of Ascent to our God and ask that He reestablish that which has made our nation exceptional. As we do, we can be confident that His final word is one of mercy and not of judgment. It doesn’t have to be a dream, but can be reality; when once again the nations of the world acknowledge that there is a God in heaven as they look upon our land and her people.
The late 17th Century Welsh Non-conformist, Matthew Henry, put it this way, “God will comfort all that turn to him; but those who approach him must have their hearts engaged to do it with reverence, devotion, and faith. How will they escape who neglect so great salvation?”