|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
126:4-6 The beginnings of mercies encourage us to pray for the completion of them. And while we are in this world there will be matter for prayer, even when we are most furnished with matter for praise. Suffering saints are often in tears; they share the calamities of human life, and commonly have a greater share than others. But they sow in tears; they do the duty of an afflicted state. Weeping must not hinder sowing; we must get good from times of affliction. And they that sow, in the tears of godly sorrow, to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting; and that will be a joyful harvest indeed. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be for ever comforted. When we mourn for our sins, or suffer for Christ's sake, we are sowing in tears, to reap in joy. And remember that God is not mocked; for whatever a man soweth that shall he reap, Ga 6:7-9. Here, O disciple of Jesus, behold an emblem of thy present labour and future reward; the day is coming when thou shalt reap in joy, plentiful shall be thy harvest, and great shall be thy joy in the Lord.
Verse 5. - They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Then we, who are now "sowing in tears" (Ezra 3:12, 13; Neb. 1:4), re-establishing Israel in its own land amid grief and pain and distress, shall "reap in joy," see the fruit of our exertions, and rejoice thereat.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. A proverbial expression, encouraging faith in prayer put up for the return of the captivity, whether in a literal or spiritual sense. Praying or seeking the Lord is sowing in righteousness, Hosea 10:12; which is often attended with tears and weeping; the issue of them is not always seen soon: these, like seed, lie buried under the clods, but take effect and will rise up in due time: saints should wait patiently for a return of them, as the husbandman for the fruits of the earth; in due time they will produce a large crop of blessings, a plentiful harvest, which the praying saint will reap with joy; as those that prayed and waited for the redemption in Jerusalem; and as those that pray for the latter day glory, the conversion of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles, and the destruction of antichrist; the souls under the altar have been sowing in tears, but before long they will reap in joy, Revelation 6:9. It may be applied to the state and condition of saints in common in this life; now is their sowing time, and careful they should be that they sow not to the flesh, but to the spirit: and a sorrowful time it is, on account of inward corruptions, Satan's temptations, divine desertions, and the imperfection of their services; but before long they will reap life everlasting, reap in joy, and be in the fulness of it; now they weep, then they shall rejoice; now they mourn, then they shall be comforted.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5, 6. As in husbandry the sower may cast his seed in a dry and parched soil with desponding fears, so those shall reap abundant fruit who toil in tears with the prayer of faith. (Compare the history, Ezr 6:16, 22).
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