When Life Hurts
Remember God’s hand on your life in the past—in tough times as well as good ones—and give him thanks.
Read Psalm 137:1-9
 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.  There on the poplars we hung our harps,  for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”  How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy were these folks so sad and distressed?
The psalmist has recently returned home after a time of exile in Babylon. He is remembering how painful it was to be far from home and to feel far from God. He reflects that it was not appropriate to sing the songs of God as some kind of exotic entertainment for others, nor could he bring himself to play joyful music amid his own devastation. In expressing his grief and disappointment, he helps us to identify painful areas in our lives and invite God into them. In the second half of the psalm we hear a cry for justice and a vivid description of the horrors of war. Seeking vindication and revenge the psalmist asks God for a reckoning—let those who have destroyed us experience the same. Sometimes the Bible records the thoughts, prayers and feelings of its protagonists; this does not mean that God approves of the violence articulated. We can sometimes look back on prayers that God has not answered with thankful hearts, but a plea for God to intervene against injustice, whatever our own failings, is always worth praying.
Are you crying to God to overrule with justice? Spend some time praying for victims of injustice in the world.
Lord God, You are a God of justice and rightness. Help me to share Your passion for what is right and just, too.
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