Psalm 137 – Longing for the Zion in a Foreign Land

Published June 3, 2024 by Rev. Pete Van't Hoff in Devotions

Psalm 137 is a psalm of anger. It historically depicts Judah’s exile to Babylon in the sixth century B.C.

Firstly, the psalmist share the mocking of their enemies.

1 By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.
We hung our harps
Upon the willows in the midst of it.
For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
And those who plundered us requested mirth,
Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

Secondly, the psalmist shares his concern over losing sight of His God now that he’s lost sight of his home.

How shall we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

Finally, the warning is given. The tyrants set against God’s people will not stop pressing, will use every ungodly and inhuman way, to kill God’s people off, to the extend that God’s people will rejoice when the tyrant’s own methods are exacted back upon them.

Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, “Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!”

O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!
Happy the one who takes and dashes
Your little ones against the rock!

These are hard words to hear and yet, this is what is set against you, dear believer. Truly, He is God only, who can bring you back to Zion. He does so through Jesus and in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can stand in His way, to save you! Let us pray.

Dear Lord and heavenly Father,

Blessed be Your holy name. Father, may we never be caused to suffer so much that we rejoice in the punishment of those who set themselves against You and against Your people.  Take our anger away and replace it with the kind of love expressed towards us in the name of Jesus, Your Son, as worked in us by the Holy Spirit. Come Lord Jesus come! In His name, Amen.

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