9/21/2006 4:46 AM
Title: STANDING FIRM IN HARD TIMES
S: Psalms 137:4 NKJV How shall we sing the LORD’s song In a foreign land?
O: This is a Psalm that I may never have seen before. But it’s of the people in Babylon and the children asking the older ones to sing them songs of what it was like in Jerusalem. The elders ask, how can you sing, in a foreign land? But they go on to answer their own question with the words that pretty much say, it would be awful if we ever forgot.
In other words, they are saying, remember them long and loud. Don’t forget.
There is hope in those words. There is a longing to return in those words. There is a waiting and not forgetting to move forward in those words. Another way of saying it is, if we ever forget, we will become extinct as a people group, we will no longer want to return, and we will no longer need to return – we will have lost our distinctiveness and just become one of these people.
But it also reminds them continually that there is a land that is coming that is better than Babylon – it’s Jerusalem.
A: I believe the same is true of us. How then can we sing a praise song in a land of sin? We have to, to stay firm in our commitment to “return” to the land of God. We have to sing those songs to stay committed, to stay distinct, to stay hopeful and to stay in tune with God.
Music, worship, scripture, prayer, preaching are all ways of telling the story of the way things are supposed to be. They keep us filled with hope. They keep us committed. They keep us on task.
P: Lord, I believe you are coming soon. I believe that I have a part to play in being ready for that. It means telling the story, sharing with others, and in doing so, I maintain my own faith in the future. I know a land is coming that is better than where I live today – it’s the New Jerusalem.