Psalms 137:1


The Bible says in Psalm 137:1-4, “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?” Why did they weep? They were in Babylon. Obviously, this Psalm was written after Babylon conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC. Some of the Jewish people were killed, some were scattered to other nations, and some were taken captive to Babylon. It is a terrible thing when a nation is destroyed. It is a very sad thing especially in light of the potential of what could have been. That is the story of the human race. Why did Israel fail so greatly so that God had to bring such a judgment upon them? They sinned, and they did not turn back to the Lord. He would have forgiven them because He always does. Jesus said about a smaller disaster, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  


The Bible says in Psalm 137:5-9, “ 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.” Even though the Jerusalem was destroyed and the Psalmist was one of the captives in Babylon, he still loved Jerusalem and he still longed for Jerusalem. God probably put that on his heart because the Lord is not finished with Jerusalem or the Jewish people in spite of what the Babylonians did, or the Romans did, or Hitler did. God has a plan. God made promises about the city of David. Even though Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, He will return to Jerusalem and Jesus will rule the earth from the throne of David in Jerusalem. It is a good idea to not forget Jerusalem and God’s plan for it. The Lord will remember and judge those who have hated Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Remember Jerusalem and also remember the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…”


It is important to comment on verse nine. Those were violent times, extremely violent. The people lived under the concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That type pf slaughter is what happened in Jerusalem, and so the Psalmist is hoping for revenge. It is better to hope for justice. Someone who has lost a child to violence probably understands the emotions of verse nine. Such human emotions show how difficult Jesus’ teachings are to put into practice. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.”



Copyright; 2020 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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