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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 137

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Fifth Book of Psalms (c 107-150)
Message: Sorrow Over Captivity (v 1-9)

Psalms 137 Commentary 

(137:1) The Edomites - The Edomites were related to the Israelites, both nations having descended from Isaac and his father, Abraham. Edom's ancestor was Esau, Jacob's twin brother. Although Israel shared its southern border with Edom, bitter hatred divided the two nations that had descended from the two brothers. The Edomites did not come to help when the city of Jerusalem was besieged by the Babylonian army. In fact, they rejoiced when the city was destroyed and its people slaughtered (Jeremiah 49:7-22; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:1-21). 

(137:8-9) Little Ones - The phrase about the "little ones" is harsh because the psalm writer is crying out for Babylon's judgment: "Treat the Babylonians the way they treated us!" God destroyed the Babylonians for their vicious assault against both God and his kingdom (2 Chronicles 36:17-20). The Medes and Persians, as God's instruments of judgment, destroyed Babylon in 539 BC. Many of the Jews who were captives in Babylon lived to see that victory. A passionate desire for justice for Israel fueled this plea. People had witnessed this very deed against them (2 Kings 8:12). This lament does not justify anyone taking justice into their own hands--it appeals to God to right the wrong done.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Hanging Our Harps

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 137. In our text today, we see the theme of God's people facing adversity, putting their harps away due to their circumstances only to forget God in the process. In applying, we see the tendency to forget and drift from God when we don't see HIM working in our lives. The truth is that God is always working in our lives, but there will be times when we don't see HIM working. It is in these times we need to cling to God. How about you? What do you do when you face adversity and fail to see God working in your life? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember not to Hang our Harps or drift from God in adverse times but keep praising, singing, praying, serving, and clinging to our Lord, who is working in our Lives.


Psalm 137

Psalm 137

 1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

 2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

 3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

 4How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

 5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

 6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

 7Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

 8O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

 9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.