The Last Laugh
1. When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
2. Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with shots of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3. The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
4. Bring back our captivity (Do it again), O Lord,
As the streams in the South.
5. Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
6. He who continually goes out weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come in with shouts of joy,
Bringing his sheaves with him. —Psalm 126:3-6
We laugh when our minds are subverted, when we encounter an unexpected turn and we are surprised.
Here in this psalm, the poet remembers an historic, unnamed serendipitous deliverance from famine, plague, or siege when God delivered His people from "captivity," a wholly unexpected, happy surprise that brought shouts of joy and laughter (126:1-3). Surely, God had done great things for Israel!
The psalmist then prays that he and his people will laugh again, that their joy would be restored as rain refreshes a wadi in the wilderness (Psalms 126:4).
"Laugh again." I wonder: Can it be that all occasions of joy and laughter are mere foretastes of that great guffaw when we finally "get in"?
Life is hard; we pass through and on, weeping and burdened by sin and sorrow. But one day we shall come home and we will see what great things God has prepared for us. And then, or so I believe, surprised by joy, our sides will split with laughter!