By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. Psalm 137:1
Listen: Psalm 137
One of the greatest tragedies in the history of Israel was their fall to the Babylonian Empire. Jerusalem was razed and burned. Homes, farms, and businesses were destroyed. Families were torn apart—some falling to the sword and others unceremoniously shackled and marched away to exile in Babylon. God had warned his people to turn back to him or this would happen. Now the glory of Israel was replaced by captivity, shame and sorrow that lasted seventy years.
Imagine the writer of this psalm finally returning to Jerusalem, standing in the rubble, sobbing as he remembers the city as it once was. He remembers seeing his friends slain, lying in a heap. The flames consuming his home. Screams of families torn apart, chained and marched away. Remembering the beauty that once was—and the degradation that followed—is almost too much to bear.
Being a musician, he turns to his pen and harp to process how he feels. Through this song (psalm) to God, he puts on paper his pain and loss. We can learn some things from him about working through our own pain. This week we will unwrap his words and explore the “past, present and future” phases of processing the kind of pain that rocks you to the core.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
We all experience pain. The psalmist shows us it’s okay to tell God how you feel. Download today’s lock screen of Psalm 46:7. Then memorize the verse and use it to steady yourself with these words, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.