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Psalm 137

Racheal Arteaga 

1 By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.


2 On the willows there
    we hung up our lyres.


3 For there our captors
    required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4 How shall we sing the Lord's song
    in a foreign land?


5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
  let my right hand forget its skill!


6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!

7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”


8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!


9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!

I really have a way of picking the gruesome psalms. :) Psalm 137 is notorious for the awful imagery in its last verse, but I am reminded today that the Bible, though absolutely essential to our lives and, as Paul says, “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16), is not written just to people in our living/relational/economic situations. It is rather is a compilation and testimony of God speaking to and through people for thousands of years. Even hard chapters like Psalm 137 attest to the faithfulness of God as we know that He did, in fact, come through for the people of Israel and brought them out of exile. 

What have we learned so far in Psalms? That God is faithful. He is loyal. He is merciful. He is jealous for relationship with His people. He defends us. He protects us. He redeems us. He fights against our enemies. Let this be the song in our hearts even when we don’t feel like singing. 

Help us learn how to be faithful, too, Lord, even when dark days are at hand. May we never forget our highest joy in You and Your ability to redeem all situations.

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