PSALM 137:1 – By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.”
THEME OF THE DAY: SOMETIMES ALL WE CAN DO IS CRY. Today’s scripture is the opening verse in a short but moving Psalm. Derek Kidner, in his excellent commentary on the Psalm, wrote “Every line is alive with pain, whose intensity grows with each strophe to the appalling climax.” He provides a good description of the pathos found in verse one.
Here is the situation prompting the spiritual and emotional pain God’s people are in in Psalm 137. They had been uprooted and deported to Babylon. God was judging them for their sins and the judgment was exile in a foreign land far away from their ancestral home. Broken-hearted and engulfed with nostalgia for their home, all they could do was cry, and cry they did. Welcome to the Christian life, the pilgrim way to heaven. We, too, are exiled in a foreign land. We, too, long for better days! And It doesn’t have to be chastisement from the Lord for sin that makes us feel like His people of old. The sad reality of living in a fallen world is not immune to the Christian. Yes, we know God. Yes, we are heaven-bound. But for now, we are living in a fallen world and that means seasons of sadness, being broken-hearted, crushed in spirit, discouraged, even despairing maybe, disappointment, failed expectations, and emotional and spiritual pain that goes deep into our very being.
Jesus knows this of us and experienced such emotional pain like us. Read His encounter in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44; Mark 14:32-39; Luke 22:39-44). The author of the book of Hebrews gives another insight on the life of the Lord Jesus and the trail of tears He left while walking on the earth – In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8). And it shall be so for us.
Sometimes the only “prayers” we offer to the Lord are tears; tears that flow from difficult circumstances, challenging relationships, and intense trials that make words impossible. Yet, some of our best prayers are those tear-spoken prayers. They are the outward manifestation of a humble, desperate, and broken heart; the type the Lord draws near to and heals – Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:1-2) and He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3).
PRAYER: “Father, I thank You that my tears caused by living in a sin cursed world are heard by You as heart-felt prayers.”
QUOTE: “Jesus never invited people to a life of ease in following Him but to travel a trail lined with many tears.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,