A Bible Devotion from Psalm 137
No Songs of Joy!
1 By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows there
we hung up our lyres.
3 For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How shall we sing the Lord's song
in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!
7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, "Lay it bare, lay it bare,
down to its foundations!"
8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!
Psalm 137, NKJV
Psalm 137 is a rather sobering Psalm; as the Israelite captives were ready to cross into Babylon, they sat down and wept. To add to their grief, their captors were ridiculing them by asking them to sing one of the songs of Zion.
I'm sure you've experienced one of those difficult times when you were so overcome with grief that you would not even be able to think of singing a song of joy. This was especially grievous to the Israelites because the reason they were being carried away captive was due to their own sin against the Lord.
Have you noticed when working with young children that they have a very difficult time looking ahead and thinking into the future. If you give them 10 pieces of candy and tell them it has to last for 5 days, what will they do? You're right, they'll eat them all the first day. Many times children reveal our own natures in a very graphic way.
The Israelites had been warned again and again about their sin by many prophets through the reigns of many kings. Did they not believe God? I think they did the same thing that most people do today; God didn't strike them down by lightening the moment they sinned, therefore they think He won't judge them at all. How do people really feel about heaven and hell? Either they don't believe there is an after-life or they think they'll settle those issues when they are about to die.
Like children, we tend to eat our candy today and don't worry about tomorrow. God is God; His existence does not depend on whether people believe in Him or not. Today is the day to put our faith and trust in Him and to cry out to Him for help in living this life. For the non-believer at the day of judgment there will be no songs of joy!
Pray that your faith in God is real, and if not that you'll cry out to Christ for salvation so that you will not reach the day of judgment with no songs of joy.
More Devotions on the 137th Psalm from my blog, Daily Bible Devotions.
How Shall We Sing? verses 1-4
Remember Jerusalem, verses 5-6
Vengeance of the Lord, verses 7-9