Psalm 137

Please read Psalm 137 (9 verses)

The people of God are locked in captivity and longing for their homeland. The Lord has brought them there because of their sinfulness and wandering from Him. They are prisoners in a strange land and have no sense of belonging to that place. They are strangers and pilgrims there and cannot return to where they belong. They weep in remembrance of their home and their instruments of praise are hanging in the Poplar trees waiting for the day of release when they can again rejoice.

The capturing nation makes demands of them – to sing their songs of Zion in the land of captivity, but the people weep and cannot sing the songs of their Lord in this strange land. They cannot perform for their tormentors and therefor remain silent and still. Perhaps to sing would encourage them to settle in this foreign place and help them to get a sense of home and security about where they are. The people of God have no wish to do so, for they are intent on going home in the long term. They would wish to forget how to play their songs rather than forget their land that the Lord has given to them. They would rather forget how to sing at all, rather that amalgamate into the land of captivity. It is not their home. To forget Jerusalem is unthinkable…

The enemies do not care about Jerusalem but call for it to be torn down. The people of God will never forget their city, but will mourn and weep until the day they get to return to it. Their enemies have destroyed their homes, their families and their children, and the psalmist calls for the Lord to exact just recompense on the enemies for their cruelty.

Similarly, we also long for heaven and home and do not allow this present society to dictate the song we sing and the attitude of our hearts. We remember where we belong and that we have been rescued from this age and belong to the eternal age that is coming. There we will sing the Lord’s songs with great joy. In the meantime we sing praises to our God for all His lovingkindness towards us and still rejoice as we view the eternal future in our soul’s eye. We do not forget that heavenly Jerusalem.