Deserted Harps – Psalm 137

Sermon by Rev.Prabhu

Psalm 137

Intro

A psalm of a Jewish captive after returning from exile (Babylonian captivity)

They lived in Babylon without hope ( Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37)

It looked like the end of Israel forever.

But God was faithful in fulfilling the promise.

Back in their home land they sing with mixed feelings and memories

 

I. Away from Jerusalem  – Jerusalem a place remembrance. V 5,6

 

Jeremiah wrote to them to accept the situation. (Jeremiah chapter 29) – but they have not

Zion was the place of worship, a place of celebration and Joy.

They met at the riverside to lament and recall the days of the past.      V1,2

They wept remembering the past Glory-  v 1     Ezra 3:12

 

 

II. In Babylon – a place of   ridicule. V3 

Hanging harps Refusal sing in the foreign land – they lost the sense of worship. They lost the joy of the Lord

Now away from theTempleofGodand the God of theTemple– they were humiliated

It was not conducive atmosphere to sing.

We weep when we can’t do what WE USED TO DO. The Jews inBabylonwept because, they could not joyfully sing.

“We hung our harps upon the willows . . . “(Ps. 137:2). The harp made the Jews happy and they no longer used their musical instruments.

 

Babylonian Enemies attacked with words and weapons

v3: Captors encouraging Israelites to become integrated? To see God and His promises as consigned to the past; just a memory?

Edomites joined the enemies  – age old enemy  rejoicing over the fall of Israelites. 

Edom was a country to the south-east of Judah. It was an enemy of Judah. When Babylon destroyed Jerusalem, Edom was very happy!  V 7

Israel’s Firm Focus on God’s Promise                                                                                         A determination not to forgetJerusalem and what it represents. (Even though it lies in ruins!) – Keeping focused on God’s promises for the future.

 

III. Back to Jerusalem  – a prayer of revenge – Revenging spirit is evident in this Psalm

Redeemed people react v 7- 9

A longing for God’s justice part of OT hopes.

Jewish Rule of Revenge – An Eye for an Eye

Curse was used as weapon by the ancient people.

Jesus rule of Love

Jesus said, “You have heard that people used to say, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not fight against *evil. If someone hits you on the right side of your face, let him hit you on the other side also” (Matthew 5:38-39).  Matt 5:43-48. Also Romans 12:20.

 

Conclusion

How do we react when people do bad things to us?

Can we take justice in our hand?

“Love your enemies. And pray for the people that are very *unkind to you” (Matthew 5:44). If you pray for people, you may understand them better.

Can we sing in a foreign land?