This is one of my all-time favorite verses of scripture. It’s one of the densest and richest standalone scriptures in the entire Bible. It sums up the suffering process in a few simple lines and beautifully renders our situation hopeful in light of God’s promises as expressed by the Psalmist.
“He (or she) that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6)
I’m going to break this down piece by piece and squeeze everything I can out of the richness of the translation. I will start by saying that the King James, much like its version of Proverbs 18:1, renders this verse in a way that supersedes other translations by far.
He (or she, anyone) that goeth forth…
This shows that you’re moving. You’re on your feet and you’re going forward. Paul said that he “press[ed] toward the mark” (Philippians 3:14). Don’t let anything keep you down. If circumstances conspire to prevent you from doing what you know God wants you to do, ask Him for help and press on. One moment, one day at a time. And where are you coming from? Is it a place of undesirableness? Someplace that God has called you out of? You wouldn’t be “going forth” if you weren’t convinced that you weren’t going to find what you’re looking for where you were. So you go forth. More power to you. Keep this in mind as we continue.
There will come a time when God will wipe away “all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). This is talking about Heaven, but God will do it here, too. Though, for a time, if need be, there are bound to be tears. Let them flow. Keep moving.
…bearing precious seed…
There are many types of seed spoken of in the Bible. Jesus says that “the seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11). Any promise you need God to perform for you is found in His word. Bring it! Don’t leave it behind. Speak it out, think about it, meditate upon it. “Write them upon the table of thine heart” (Proverbs 7:3). Whatever you do, don’t let it go. It’s your lifeline through the desert.
…shall doubtless come again…
What if God had you go back to where you came from but this time something was different? Yes, a lot has changed between parts 3 and 4. My how you’ve grown! Full of joy and thanksgiving and purpose. What have you got to lose? Why would you want to come again to wherever it was God brought you out of? Granted, some situations are so bad as to never be revisited in memory or in person. But what about the people still trapped where you once were? If you decide to go back, know that you’ll be equipped to bring them out. To rescue them. It’s what Jesus does: God, “who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
Sure God, I’d be happy to… (it’s the supernatural order of things)
…bringing his (and her) sheaves with [them].
And this is what God gives you for your trouble. Really, it’s whatever you need to fulfill His call on your life. It’s the harvest that was promised to you for obeying God through the time of trial and “going forth” that was so, so unpleasant starting out. See, God “hath made every thing beautiful in His time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This includes your life. If it doesn’t look that way now, keep pressing forward, planting your precious seeds wherever you go. And don’t forget to rejoice. There are beautiful days ahead!
This verse makes me think of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. I wonder if he ever thought of this scripture when he was planting apples throughout antebellum America. Food for thought!
Mmm… Apple cider? Press on! God bless you.