Today’s Daily Thought –
It is sometimes good to recall the gracious disciplinary acts of God in our spiritual education. In this psalm, the Israelites who had been deported to Babylon and had endured years of cruel captivity look back with mixed feelings.
- They recall with bitterness the taunts of their captors calling on them to sing songs in praise of Zion. Zion had been their great delight, the fortress and the city of David, “beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth”, this being its description in the palmy days of David and Solomon foreshadowing its future when Messiah shall return in glory, Psa. 48. 2. But Zion lay waste, and the captives could but hang their harps on the willows beside the Euphrates. May we too value God’s chastening which yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby, Heb. 12. 11.
- Their sufferings failed to quench their admiration of Zion and their devotion to the city of God’s choice. With Zion in ruins, they cannot play their harps on foreign soil; they would rather be dumb and never sing again. They loved Jerusalem above their “chief joy”, for there they had brought their gifts to the altar of God Himself. They pledge their loyalty to His appointed centre. May we, too, value our local gatherings (the people rather than the place) whither we come to worship.
- They cry for justice. The barbarous cruelty, which keeps prisons full and leaves broken homes and weeping souls unnumbered in some countries today, is but a reflection of the unspeakable cruelties of the Babylonian and Edomite hosts, 2 Kings 8. 12; Obad. 10-12. It would be only justice for Babylon’s infants to be treated as she had treated Israel’s.
Ultimately, justice must be done when God arises “to shake terribly the earth”, Isa. 2. 19. But it is very difficult for men to avoid personal animosity when their own interests and comfort are involved. “Avenge not yourselves … Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”, Rom. 12. 19. May we therefore, like our Master, “pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”, Matt. 5. 44, and thank God that the day of vengeance has not yet dawned!
“Now is the day of salvation”, 2 Cor. 6. 2.
Yesterday’s Daily Thought –