By the Rivers of Babylon

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Ezekiel 32:17-33:20Jeremiah 52:28-30Psalm 137:1-91 Chronicles 4:24-5:17Psalm 137:1-3, "Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees. For our captors demanded a song from us."

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Imagine being abducted from your home after witnessing its destruction and the death of many of those close to you. Then, after being marched 900 miles away to be a servant, your captors taunt you to sing songs from home. This is exactly what happened to this group of Jews in Judah after the Babylonians destroyed their holy city of Jerusalem.In Psalm 137, the Israelites were mourning and weeping over all the loss they had endured. They were in such distress that they couldn’t even sing — especially when being taunted to do so by their cruel captors. Then the singer takes a sharp turn, asking God to judge the two nations that ravaged and plundered their land. His grief is palpable. His request is dark and gruesome. But his words are a reflection of the horror they had endured and the depths of their pain.Although today’s reading doesn’t give off warm, fuzzy feelings, aren’t you thankful that the Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the real and raw of life? Just as much as God wants us to gain insight into His love, mercy, provision, and hope found in Jesus Christ, He also wants to open our eyes to the effects of sin and the consequences of our rebellion. So, heed the utter anguish reflected in this Psalm because God brought judgment upon His people only after giving them countless opportunities to turn from their sin. Also, have hope. God heard their prayers and, after 70 years, He lovingly restored His people to their land. This same love and restoration are available to you through Jesus Christ today!

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Pray

Dear God, Thank You for giving me the real and raw of life in Your Word to convict my heart and motivate me to do life Your way. Help me to include You in my daily decisions as I seek to remain on the right path. I want to bring honor and praise to You in everything that I do. Amen.