Pain-killer

Pray: 

Lord, let me drop all religious veneer and come to You as I really am.

 

Read: PSALM 137:1-9

[1] By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. [2] There on the poplars we hung our harps, [3] for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" [4]How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? [5] If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. [6] 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.[7] Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!" [8] Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. [9] Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. 

 

Reflect: Do you feel free to come to God honestly?

This psalm is a collective cry of anguish from a conquered, abused people. The Jews have lost everything and been carted off like cattle to Babylon. There, they are mocked by cruel captors (3). Determined to remain loyal to their city, Jerusalem (5,6), they have set their hearts on their home. In defeat, the Jews call on God to punish those who have destroyed their city (7,8). And they pray that the vile crimes that have been perpetrated against them and their children will be revisited on the Babylonians (9). An eye for an eye, a child for a child.

Are you shocked to find such sentiments in the Bible? Can you sense the grief and fury of bereft mothers in the words of verse 9? So often we may think we need to sanitize our thoughts and words to God but this psalm teaches us that honesty matters. God knows our hearts and he isn't surprised by what he finds there.

Verse 9 does not condone such actions. Although there may be times when we desire that punishment is rained down on those who have wronged us, we must leave judgment to God. Jesus calls us--and empowers us--to love, to forgive and even to bless our enemies (see Luke 6:28).

 

Apply: 

Is there anything in your heart that you need to open up to God, to tell him honestly how you feel?

 

Pray: 

Lord, thank You that You are a God who was willing to get dirty and shed sweat and blood. Help us not fear to come to You honestly.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org