137:1 By the rivers of Babylon– there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.
137:2 On the willows there we hung up our harps.
137:3 For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
137:4 How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
137:5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
137:6 Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
137:7 Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem’s fall, how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down! Down to its foundations!”
137:8 O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us!
137:9 Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!
The nation of Israel was left to wander the land, looking for a place of shelter. They longed to escape from those who had captured them. As a result of their sin, they were punished and given over to the hands of their enemies. Here we see a mourning over what their lives used to be like.
Despite the sad picture that we see, it is also one that gives us hope because mourning over sin means having a genuine and repentant heart. It is a positive experience to come to the realization that sin has taken over and there needs to be a change. Furthermore, it shows that there is a desire for change to let go of our sin, repent and follow after Christ.
Where this repentance, there is forgiveness. Gods Grace covers all of our sin. Allow for God to come in and replace our tears of mourning with His joy and a desire to obey and follow after Him.
The exile forced Israel (and Judah) to reckon with their own sins. They could no longer avoid dealing with their wayward behavior. The wages of their sins had been paid. Yet we know that God allowed them to return in 70 years and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Like the unruly Israelites in the desert God allowed the disobedient generation(s) to die off while a younger generation is raised up to follow the Lord. But why does the Lord continue to restore Israel over and over again since they continually go astray?
I believe it is because God is quick to forgive those who repent. He has grace for those who can humble themselves. Secondly, God is faithful to His covenants even if the other party does not uphold their part of the covenant. God is always righteous and just, not matter what we do. What can we learn from all this?
Be quick to repent. Do not wallow in the destruction that we bring on our own heads. Realize when we have gone astray and return with swift feet and humility. Also, have faith that God will be quick to forgive us and will not withhold His love from us.