Thursday, August 28, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 78 Monday

Psalm 137

This song of mourning and retribution is not attributed to any specific Hebrew captive. It is a psalm that reminds Christians that we must sing the LORD'S song in a strange land no matter how hard it is to do so! How else will they hear of our God or of His city?

Most Christians understand mourning. It is the idea of retribution that gives us problems. It just doesn't fit with what we see as the Christ-like model. However, God  is not a flat character. He is a well-rounded Individual who tells us to love our enemies and pray for them while there is hope for their repentance but He is also the Judge who takes vengeance on anyone who mistreats those whom He loves.

Is the psalmist claiming that he will be ecstatic when the Babylonians are tormented by those who take them into captivity? Or is he declaring that the Babylonians' conquerors will celebrate the victory much like the Babylonians celebrated their victory over Judah? The text seems to state the latter. Babylon would one day be treated by their enemies in the way they treated the people of Judah. It is clear that innocents cruelly died in each conquest.

The psalmist does ask for God to remember Edom who mocked when their distant relatives were in trouble. The Edomites must have encouraged the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem. They got their wish.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak, but this author obviously was acquainted with God's promises made to Jeremiah concerning His coming vengeance upon Babylon.

Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus wept when He remembered Zion also. He remembered the holy city that it had been and wept because it had become a city that had forgotten her God.

Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The captives would not forget Jerusalem no matter what! Those of us who love God will not forget about the city of our God! That is why we wait for the New Jerusalem.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)