What Do We Do with Psalm 137?
By Aaron Armstong
“Remember, Lord, what the Edomites said that day[a] at Jerusalem: “Destroy it! Destroy it down to its foundations!” Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who pays you back what you have done to us. Happy is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks.” - Psalms 137:7-9
So the psalmist here is wishing not for vengeance in human terms. He is praying for God’s justice. He is putting his trust in God’s promise to repay the Babylonians for what they had done. He is trusting that God will deliver his people, as God had promised. Throughout this psalm, he calls the people to remember. Remember Jerusalem in your grief—and remember the Lord’s promise of deliverance.
This is what he calls us to do as well.
Hoping in God
This is truly the blessed hope we have in the gospel—Christ died on the cross to deliver us from the most horrible suffering imaginable: An eternity in hell. And yet he took upon himself the wrath our sins deserved so we might be free. And even now, He sits in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us, praying for us, preparing a place for us with Him.
What glorious hope that is!
That’s the hope that’s driven Christians from the beginning of the Church. It’s the truth that sustains us.
Brothers and sisters, we are clay jars and God has placed this treasure—this great hope—in us. That’s why we can say with the Apostle Paul:
We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:8-12)
Death is at work in us daily. But Christ is being revealed. That’s what our trials do. They make us look more and more like Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, the one who suffered for us so we might be delivered from death.
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Christian, trials will come. Grieve them, but do not let your despair distort your thinking. Instead, put your hope in God’s deliverance.
Editor’s Note: Portions taken from the article “What Do We Do with Psalm 137?” written by Aaron Armstrong. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
Content originally appeared on BloggingTheologically.com. Used with permission.