Where’s Your Harp?
“On the willow trees in the midst of [Babylon] we hung our harps.” Psalm 137:2
This phrase caught my attention last night during Bible Study and I quickly jotted brief notes to come back to later.“We hung our harps on the willow tree.” Psalm 137 was written in remembrance of when the Israelites were in Babylonian captivity. This chapter looks back on the bitterness of the captivity. They were in a foreign country under duress, not because they chose to be there. We can surmise that whenever they had free time, maybe on their Sabbath that they gathered by the rivers of Babylon to pray and sing to their God. While doing this memories would come back and the tears would flow. They still remembered ZION. To them Zion was the spiritual center of the whole earth. Looking into the rivers of Babylon they saw their reflection…weeping and faces full of anguish. “My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of my people.” (Lamentations 3:48) Sometimes their captors asked them to sing one of the Hebrew songs…you know, to rub the salt into their wounds even more… ” Sing us one of those happy songs that you used to sing in your homeland.” How could they? They were in a foreign land, not by choice…and they were asked to sing a “happy” song! They wouldn’t sing for them. These were heathen people and it would be like forgetting all about Jerusalem. Impossible to sing a song of Joy.
Let me get to the point of my thought: “Have you ever lost your joy?” It’s so hard to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land. Are you in the middle of a foreign land right now? Does God seem far away? Are you forgetting the Songs of Zion? Have you lost contact with the MUSIC MAKER?
It’s interesting to note that people who do not share our beliefs will watch us to see how we handle certain situations. If they see us in a “valley” they want to see us sing…they taunt us to sing. Sometimes…they have the right to ask us to sing…don’t you think so? If God’s people can’t sing in their misery, who can? But the key is knowing the Music Maker…he has to provide the strength to sing that song and even provide the song. We must renew our strength daily in the LORD.
Isaiah knew that…read Isa. 40:31. He promised we’d not grow weary; we wouldn’t faint by the wayside. If God is truly the source of our JOY, then the closer our relationship with Him, the more we will be able to sing songs of JOY in any situation we are going through. Read Psalm 9:9… “stronghold in times of trouble.” It’s easy to hang our harps up on the willow tree of discouragement! It takes faith to take our harps back down and look to God for a NEW SONG of JOY. Is you heart filled with hopelessness? Have you hung your harp up? Is your harp hung up on the Willow Tree (bitter/guilt tree)?
Remember God has forgiven you…Pick that harp back up and SING! Sing a new song. We are children of the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS. SING a song of JOY!
Where is your Harp? Just hanging around in a tree swaying in the breeze… Are you playing a new song on your harp?
For Further Study: Read Psalm 137
copyright August 2005 P K Childers