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Sunday, April 11, 2010

How Shall We Sing?

“After silence, that which comes nearest
to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
~ Aldous Huxley

How Shall We Sing?

By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.
We hung our harps
Upon the willows in the midst of it.
For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
And those who plundered us requested mirth,
Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
How shall we sing the LORD's song In a foreign land?
~ Psalms 137:1-5 (NKJV)

Observe the pain here. The Babylonians have ransacked Jerusalem (Mt. Zion), burned the temple, and taken surviving Jews captive to a foreign land. The people of song have no song left in themselves and have hung their harps upon the willows to weep with deepest mourning. Their captors now taunt them: “Go ahead, sing us one of your famous songs. None of those sad songs, either. Sing us one of the happy songs about Zion—your pride and joy.”

Sunday morning is our time of song. All across the globe, we come before the Lord with praise and worship and testimony set to music of every kind. But some of us may not feel like singing. Earth is a foreign land to citizens of the heavenly Zion. With heavy hearts we wonder how shall we sing of home when we are captives in enemy territory?

What was the psalmist’s answer to tormentors?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, "Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!"
O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!
~ Psalms 137:5-8 (NKJV)

And so we also look our tormentor the devil squarely in the eye, pick up our music and say, “You taunt us by reminding us where we are and where we long to be. So we will indeed sing of our home, and we will throw your derision back in your face with song of your fate. For the Lord has promised good to us and damnation to you. We shall call to mind our home and our God,

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  1. Yes Lord, I will lift my voice in song to You always.

  2. It's a "singing poem" -- The rivers of Babylon are likened to the tears of the Israelites. Good post, Anne.

  3. We shall call to mind our home and our God,
    SING!” exhuberance

  4. we shall sing unto the Lord a new song ...

  5. Makes me think of U2's, "Forty"--you'd like.

    Feel like I've been having to do a decent amount of looking squarely in the eye lately.

    But, I'm learning to sing even as I do that.
    ~ Wendy

  6. Denise ~ I thank you for sharing your delightful voice with us on your blog. You sing as sweetly as I could imagine any angel doing.

    Glynn ~ If the sinful woman wept enough tears to actually wash Jesus' feet, I think that river of tears might have been quite literal—and quite fitting for poetry and song.

    Bud ~ Thank you, for exhuberance.

    Susan ~ Yes, when we're near Him, there is always a new song. He is indeed a living God!

    Wendy ~ Praise will drive him away. He doesn't tolerate it well. :) Keep singing!


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