Daily Devotional: Psalms 137:1-9
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2 There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. 7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us--9 he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
It was a common practice of the times for a nation that had been defeated by their enemies to be taken into captivity and relocated in another nation. This was done to encourage the captives to intermarry and thus lose their native national pride and identity, also so they could be better controlled by their captors.
It is easy to picture in our minds a huge throng of people being marched from their homeland to the place chosen by their enemies. Leaving behind most of their possession and their family members that were either too weak or too old to make the trip, they were forced to walk to a place they did not want to go. As they walked into this new land, they were being told to sing, play their harps and sound joyful. They were to act like they were happy about this new home.
How could they laugh? How could they sing? How could they rejoice? They had lost all they had, seen many of their family killed and now made captives in a foreign land. There was nothing to be happy about or reason to sing.
Yet, the Psalmist put his trust in God. No matter where he was, he would continue to trust God and let God live in him. We live in a wicked world with all kinds of problems but God is still with us and we must remain faithful to him. While we may be forced to allow many sinful practices in our land, we do not have to condone them or support them. We can put our trust in God – he is in control.
O God, give me strength to stand for your truth in all things. Give me wisdom to understand your word and the self-control to practice it. Open my heart to your Spirit so your love will be made complete and abound in my life. Give me a spirit of kindness, patience, compassion and forgiveness. Keep me from being harsh, bitter or hateful. I pray for our nation, for our leaders and for the elections that are coming next year. Give us people who will respect you and your word and will hold your name in reverence. I pray in the name of Jesus my Lord.