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May 17, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: 2 Chronicles 25-27
Audio: 2 Chronicles 25-27

Psalm 137 (ESV)

By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
    we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
    required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How shall we sing the Lord‘s song
    in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
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!

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!
Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. How shall we sing the Lord's song
        in a foreign land?

    Sing (But Don't Sing)

    The psalmist and the people of God lament as they remember their captivity in Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem. 

    Reading of the exiles weeping at the destruction of Jerusalem while in captivity in Babylon, and hanging up their lyres on willow trees when their captors taunted and mocked them to sing of the Jerusalem they destroyed breaks my heart. 

    How demoralizing to think of Israel's captors gloating while Israel sang!  

    Psalm 137:3 says…

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

    On one hand we can see their "tormentors" demanding their captives sing one of the "songs of Zion," but the text also says their captors "required of us songs."

    These appear to be two different set lists:

    1. Songs that were required of them to sing by their captors
    2. A song of Zion as requested/demanded by their tormentors

    Their response is found in Psalm 137:4-7…

    "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!"

    I must confess this is a little confusing. On the one hand, their captors are their "captive audience" who have demanded they sing one of the songs of Zion. 

    How can they sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? 

    Loudly. Boldly. Passionately! Grab your lyres, plug them into an amp (figuratively), and sing to the Lord. Let the captors see that what they did to Jerusalem (and to them) is not the end of the story. God is still God!

    Learn from the mistakes of your ancestors who lost faith and grumbled when the Lord freed you from captivity in Egypt. Have faith and SING people of God!

    So why does Psalm 137:5-6 speak of forgetting Jerusalem? Why would Jerusalem not continue to be their highest joy?

    Where the songs their captors required of them been songs directed to them and to Babylon instead of to God and Jerusalem?

    Is this why they hung up their lyres on the willow tree?

    Is this why they would rather their right hand forget its skill to play the lyre?

    Is this why they said, "Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth?"

    Lord, help us praise you in every situation – but also help us not fall into the trap of praising worldly and ungodly people or things.


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "Who is Our Praise but Jesus?" by Robert Hawker

    "Who will be our praise but you, Jesus—your beauty, your glory, and your excellence? You are the one in whom all divine perfection is focused.

    Who will be our praise but Jesus, the Mediator, the Christ of God, whose glory it is to redeem poor sinners and make them saints, to give out of your fullness, and grace for grace? Jesus, you are the praise of all the saints. Amen."

    (Excerpt taken Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)

  2. This chapter says to me that even in the worst of times, in difficult, uncomfortable situations, in our darkest hour, we are to turn to God and praise Him because He is there, He loves us, and He will never leave us. 

    I always think about how God is the only one who can see the big picture, and no matter what is happening, it is His will and all part of his plan. 

    We are to bring everything to God lay it down, and praise Him that we can even do that. His steadfast love endures forever!

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