Daily Devotion of Psalm 137
This is a sad song that Israel sang. The time referred to in this hymn was when God’s people had been captured (Psalm 137:1-3) by the Babylonians and taken to a foreign land. There they found themselves slaves to their captives. Their freedom was lost all because of their sin (Lamentations 1:8). They found themselves surrounded by godless people, and all Israel could remember was, what it was like in Jerusalem. Their beloved Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.
Israel pined for their freedom and their country. They remembered how it was before captivity left them grief-stricken.
In the past, they and their Jerusalem were known for joyous singing and happiness. In their bondage, they could not (Psalm 137:4) utter a note when they were requested to sing. Their hearts were broken, and their spirits were crushed.
Too many today find themselves with a similar sadness. They remember the joy and good times they had before they reaped the consequences of their sin. When their memories drift back to those joyous days, they too are sad. It is heart-breaking to think about what one’s life could have been if it were not for one’s involvement in iniquity.
The captive Israelites must have constantly pondered, “It’s too late!” Maybe they shook their heads in despair, thinking, “There is no taking back what we have done. We have sown sin and now we are reaping its terrible consequences.” Today’s sinners also will one day have similar regrets.
There is no way to take back what was done, that is why it is so important to stay away from it in the first place. Unfortunately, most have to live with iniquity's consequences, but they can go forward without making the same mistakes.
A repentant, regretting heart can decide to start over. Seeking God’s forgiveness and help can give one a second (or third, or fourth…) chance.
Moping about “spilled beans” will not clean up the mess sin made. God is a forgiving God. There still may a sinful crop that one will reap from the seeds sown by sin, but with God’s help, one can still go forward. Seek forgiveness and His help. There is hope!
“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” — Sophocles
Words to Understand:
Rase: level a building to the ground; destroy a structure
1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7 ¶ Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.