Hanging up Our Harps
“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps… ‘How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?’ Psalm 137:2.
Life was sweet as the Israelites spent their days in continual worship in Jerusalem. They built their lives surrounding the temple of God with the freedom and luxury to remain near His dwelling place. But then one day they hear chaos in the distance…they can feel the shift in their circumstances…they can sense danger and despair all around them. The Babylonians had attacked their happy lives, destroyed what they knew best, and then kidnapped them to a foreign land.
As they found themselves by the rivers in their new land, they wept bitterly and longed for the city they'd left behind. The harps they had used to play to display their joy stayed silent. Their confidence and security had been kidnapped along with their physical bodies.
Who of us find ourselves in a foreign land this morning? Whose heart is longing for last week before that relationship changed…last month before the doctor’s visit…last year before that job was taken away? Where did the security go? Where is the music of our hearts that played out like a beautiful synchronized symphony? Remembering Zion…tough thoughts…bewitching memories. While we walked out our Zion…those calm and secure times…we didn’t even know to fear losing it. But now, our harps are silent, for it has become difficult to sing.
But blessedly, we have a Father who will sing when our sad hearts cannot. ‘For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.’ Zeph. 3:17. He will turn our weeping to comfort if we commit our sadness to Him. ‘He who goes out weeping…will return with songs of joy.’ Psalm 126:6.
We must remember that we are in a foreign land in more ways than just our circumstances. We can never get comfortable on earth for life provides the backdrop for us to be kidnapped by our circumstances. They attack our comfort and security and hold our hearts and minds hostage. We cannot give into the despair but must continue to sing songs of the faithfulness of God in these kidnapped times. The thing about foreign lands is that they are never our home. God will return us to calm times….sweet times…secure and joyful times again. ‘When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy… ‘The LORD has done great things…and we are filled with joy.’ Psalm 126:1-3.
So don’t hang up your harps…our Great God will deliver you out of your captivity and the joy of the Lord will be yours.