In Psalm 126:4 the Psalmist prays: “Restore our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.” That phrase “the streams in the south” is literally, “the stream beds of the Negev.” The Negev was the desert wilderness to the south of Israel. In it there were “stream beds” or gullies, which were formed at one time by the rains which previously fell. But now they are dry and empty. They sit waiting for more to come, but they can do nothing to bring it about. They just wait for the blessing of that rain to come and fill them up again.
This is such a picture of what God’s people need Him to do for us.
Just like those stream beds in the Negev, many of us have once experienced the power and presence and blessing of God, but we would have to admit that spiritually we now are very dry. We have the memories, the “gulleys” of our previous experiences with God, but our souls are as dry as a desert now. We need a fresh touch from Him, an outpouring of His Spirit — but like that desert, there is no way that we can bring it to pass by our own manipulations or efforts. We must cry out to Him, and wait on Him to do what only He can. The best thing we can do is to imitate the prayer of the Psalmist here, and make his words our prayer: “Restore our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.”