Remember and Recall

1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. ~ Psalms 137:1

This Psalm has been turned into a song. It’s sung as a happy and even joyous song. One tends to sing it without really thinking too much about it. But in actuality, this Psalm is very sad and heartbreaking. It was written probably somewhere around the Chebar River and the Euphrates River. The Jewish people had been forcibly taken from their homeland. They were as it was, in captivity, because of their idolatry. Everything they knew and loved was destroyed, crushed, broken, and burned, including their beloved Temple.

Their homes had been ransacked; their husbands and sons were slain by the edge of the sword. Their young women were raped and beaten in the streets. Their precious memories, keepsakes, and heirlooms were all either stolen or destroyed. Not one stone was left on the top of the other. Their beautiful buildings, the city walls, and everything they cared about and valued, including the Temple articles used for worship, were taken from them and carried off to Babylon.

Their idolatrous king was captured, and his sons were murdered in front of him, and then his eyes were plucked out, and he too, was carried off to Babylon, where he died. His wives and his daughters were ravished, and everyone that did not starve to death or perish in the Babylonian invasion were all stripped and marched off to captivity.

Now to add salt to the wounds, their captives were requiring them to sing songs of joy. Songs they sang in Jerusalem. Songs of celebration. But they answered, “How can we sing the LORD’s songs in this place of captivity? It will be like forgetting Jerusalem. Forgetting our former way of life and our freedom, we cannot sing songs of joy in this foreign land.”

They remembered not only their homeland and their way of life but they remembered that they had a promise from God. A promise through the prophet Jeremiah. The same Jeremiah they persecuted and thrown into a cistern where he sunk down into the mud because of his prophecies of destruction for turning away from the LORD their God.

The next time you are feeling low. The next time someone taunts you because of your Christian stance. The next time they laugh at you and call your Christian faith an outdated and antiquated religion, just let it roll off your back like water on a duck’s back. Instead of giving in to their taunts, sneers, jesting, and laughing, choose to focus on the promises of God. Choose to remember and recall the promises that God will bless you. You are the head and not the tail. You are the chosen ones, and God is for you, even if it doesn’t look like it now.

Remember, most of all, Jesus’ promise to come back and get us. He will not leave us destitute, nor will He forget us here. But He will come back for us, bringing His rewards for us with Him and His recompense for those who hate Him and who have persecuted us. So, encourage yourselves with these words; Jesus loves me and has made a way for me to live with Him forever in peace and everlasting blessings.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great and marvelous promises. Thank You for the gift of life. And when life begins to get me down, and times begin to get hard and difficult, help me to remember that You are for me. Help me to remember that Jesus is coming back to deliver me out of the hands of evil men. Strengthen my resolve now; in Jesus’ Name, I pray, amen.

Scripture Reading

1 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. How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget her cunning. 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. 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.

Psalms 137:1-9

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