Wow! Where to begin with this lovely psalm!
Captivity: God often defines illnesses and trials as captivity. We're told that Jesus took captivity captive on the cross.
What an interesting way to show us God's idea of our afflictions. Autism, cancer, small infirmities as well as large ones, physical problems as well as financial and emotional ones are "those who took us captive."
We hear a lot of sermons defining the Christian life as a war. We hear a lot about the enemy, the whole armor of God, gaining territory, spiritual battle, not giving up the fight. But we don't really talk about what it is like to be captured by the enemy. Maybe because we don't want to think about sicknesses and how they take away the freedom humans are supposed to have.
But Jesus set us free. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
Then the Psalmist moves from the captivity metaphor to the sowing metaphor. From warfare to farming? Well, to Bible readers, warfare is farming.
We fight for the harvest. We sing and rejoice because we overcome and water the word -- the sword of the spirit-- by thanksgiving.
The psalmist says "doubtless"...if we sow, we will reap. The captivity will be turned away. Harvest time and victory and freedom from captivity will come.
Psalm 1261When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
3The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.