national identity. They were in Babylon and they were in confusion. The King
of Babylon had an agenda in taking them. The Lord God had an agenda also.
Those who remembered God and Zion and were faithful would one day be
afforded a chance to return to Israel and rebuild. The rest would braid
themselves into Babylonian culture. Many would find this intermixing relatively
easy. The faithful would find it impossible. They kept themselves apart as much
as possible so they or their children might one day return to Judah as the people
Ps. 137:3 For there our captors demanded of us songs,
And our tormentors mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
The tormentors don’t understand that fear is the reason they are here and it
has intensified rather than gotten better. Fear has torment, 1 John 4:18 KJV.
Fear is the captives constant companion.
1 Jn. 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because
fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love KJV. God’s plan is
to perfect us in His love. When we chose other gods we choose Babylon and
the torment of fear.
They could not sing for those who torment them and demand songs from
them. Their captors are saying, “Aren’t you over this by now?” They can’t
imagine anyone not delighted to come to Babylon.
They fear everyone right now. The Israelites are tormented by fear as others
around them expect them to act normal. The Babylonians want joy that does
not exist. They want them to be over this, to quit mourning. The captives want to
quit but can’t. Fear holds the Israelites fast along with, sin and Godly mourning.
Psa. 137:4 How can we sing the LORD’S song
In a foreign land?
We cannot sing the Lord’s song until we return to Jerusalem. We need return to
the place His presence was. He restores true worship there. Now trying to
worship makes us cry and mourn. Worship causes us to remember. We
remember hurts because we do not understand yet. And we miss God. This is
God’s purpose. Babylon is a gift from God so we might miss Him. He desires us
and wants us to desire Him.
Ps. 137:5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget her skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
God’s captive people are to yearn for Jerusalem. So are we. Jerusalem was
the capitol of Judah. The kings throne was there. The temple of God was
there. Jerusalem is our city. The city of God’s people.
Rev. 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
God yearns for the literal city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people who will one
day know Him as Messiah. Jerusalem also stands for the bride of God’s heart.
He desires us to yearn to finish our preparation for Him. We are to love, serve
and worship Him alone. We are to love Jerusalem, our bridehood, more than
our chief joy. He is to be our chief joy.
Rev. 19:6b ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7.“Let us
rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb
has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
We are to get ready for the wedding banquet. This means leaving the rivers
of Babylon behind one day. We must choose the rivers of Judah. But we cannot
do this because we are not home. Even though God said 70 years, we don’t
believe He will allow us to go home. There is little hope in the present season.
There is often despair.