The Psalms from 120 – 134 are sometimes referred to as the Pilgrim Psalms. They were Psalms which either arose out of, or talked about the annual pilgrimage that many Jewish people conducted around the time of the major festivals, and primarily the time of Passover each year, as they journeyed to Jerusalem.
Together, these Psalms paint an amazing portrait of this annual migration, not necessarily of everybody every year, but of large numbers of the population, in varying combinations, assembling at festival times in Jerusalem.
As they traveled together to their common destination, and then returned home in their various groupings, there emerged a phenomenon in their culture of "pilgrimage", and these Psalms paint a series of word pictures of those events.
Psalm number 121 from the list also belongs to this particular sub-collection.
This particular Psalm comes after the return of the exiles, an incident which is recounted in Isaiah chapter 40 – 55. It reflects the happiness at the restoration of normal life after 70 years of exile, and part of that normal life was the return of the custom of pilgrimage to Jerusalem (the other name for which is Zion). It’s interesting that Isaiah 40 and Psalm 126 are put together in this particular item under the heading of being discouraged. They arise from the same incident historically.
Many of us have found the sentiments expressed in this particular Psalm resonate with times in our own journey when we have had our lives put back on track, and we have found that the truth expressed in the final verse of this Psalm is indeed part of our reality – that the seeds which were planted during the tears of a difficult time, often bring about a harvest in maturity after it’s all over.