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Psalm 137

Started by Al Moak, March 27, 2004, 11:44:12 am

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Al Moak

March 27, 2004, 11:44:12 am Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 06:59:45 pm by Al Moak
Psalm 137

The daily worship in the temple on Mt. Zion was truly a delightful experience in every way.  It was beautiful to see, wonderful to hear, a joy to participate in.  Imagine, then, what it must have been like to be forcibly deported from Israel, to be carried captive to Babylon, and to know that Jerusalem, including even the temple of God - was razed to the ground!

When the writer of the psalm had lived in Jerusalem, when life had been easy and the daily walk up the hill to Zion was taken for granted - then it must have been easy to place less value on that expected and long-practiced tradition.  It was probably easy to neglect even attending that worship every now and then.

But now - now in a foreign land, a land where there was no freedom to do as he wished, and with the taunts of his victorious enemies still ringing in his ears - NOW he properly valued what he had lost!  Oh the awfulness of it!  Oh the seeming finality of it!  Oh the painful memory of what it had meant to their souls!  God had GIVEN THEM UP!  God had given them into the hands of their enemies!  Those very enemies may even have been standing around them while the psalm was being composed - standing around them and urging them to sing one of the worship songs they used to sing - a song they evidently thought would be entertaining, a song that would make them laugh!

Later on, when some of the captives were alone, the psalmist might lead them to sing the song before us instead, this psalm of sorrow and pain.  They just couldn't sing it for their captors.  They said, "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!"

This sorrowful song closes with a prayer that the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem would be remembered against the sons of Edom and the "daughter of Babylon" And it goes on to declare that those who called for the destruction of Jerusalem should themselves be destroyed!  It must be seen as an expression of faith that the present condition of God's people wouldn't continue forever, that their enemies would be repaid, and that Israel would be restored. 

Have you ever felt as these Israelites did?  Have you ever felt LOST?  Have you ever felt that you were not where you ought to be, that you were, as it were, in a foreign land - that no one around you cared for the Lord - and that you too were under His judgment?  If you've never felt any of these things, is it possible that you really don't prize your relationship to Him and that you've never really come to know and love Him?  It's sorrowful to me to have to tell you that you can't miss Him if you've never known Him.

But He's still willing to renew you and to be your wonderful Savior.  Seek Him while He may be found!

Etta Sue

Al, I want to thank you again for these lessons.  I have saved each and every one of them....some day when I can't sit at a computer and I am rocking in my rocking chair, these lessons will feed my soul in preparing me for the New Jerusalem!

Thank you again...God Bless You




Al Moak

Thank you so much, Etta Sue.  I'm so thankful to our Father for allowing me to send these forth.  I just pray they'll do God's people a little good.

Pat

Just a note, Alan...  "and that you too were under His judgement? "  sp? of judgment?


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Al Moak

Thanks, Pat - that word has long been a problem for me, though I don't know why.  I've fixed it - and reworded things in a few other minor places.