Has someone ever really hurt you?
Or worse yet, has someone hurt one of your children or another person that you dearly love?
If that happens, our natural inclination is revenge.
Although we don’t know the author of Psalm 137, it most likely was written by a person who was caught in the takeover by the Babylonians. It feels like a firsthand experience and we can understand the author’s pain. Jerusalem was invaded. It was ransacked and the beloved Temple destroyed. Homes were entered and people were snatched away. In droves the Children of Israel were led away to a foreign land. They were taken to be slaves of Babylon.
Here is part of the lament, “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. ‘Tear it down,’ they cried, ‘tear it down to its foundations!’ Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” Psalm 137:5-9
Do you feel the pain?
Can you understand the author wanting revenge?
Can you identify with the writer of this psalm who was grieving over what had happened to his people?
Yes, it is our natural inclination that if someone hurts us or our loved ones, we want them to hurt as well. We want revenge.
This psalm tells about a terrible event. But it was not the end of the story.
As awful as the Babylonian captivity was, God was with His children. He faithfully watched over Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Esther, Mordecai, Nehemiah, and many others. He brought them through it.
When something terrible happens in our lives, it is not the end of the story either. We can depend on our Lord to watch over us. He will bring us through it.
Heavenly Father, help me to trust You no matter what I am going through. Help me to remember that You are the author and finisher of my faith.