The People Of God And Politics

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres.  For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”  How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?  Psalm 137:1-4

Not all Psalms were written by David.  This one was written by a Jewish exile living in Babylon.  Having seen his homeland destroyed and having been taken as a captive into the foreign culture of the Babylonian Empire, he struggled to find his voice and get his spiritual bearings. 

His new homeland was corrupt and excessive.  The people of God stuck out like sore thumbs.  They were invited to sing their simple songs of faith to the taunts of the crowd, not unlike the Jews who were made to perform in the camps for the military tyrants who despised them. 

In another year, our song will be rendered just as peculiar against the backdrop of the next presidential election. I’m holding my breath for what will come, but that is a carnal and short-sighted response.  God is encouraging each of us to breathe, to breathe in the oxygen of His Holy Spirit.  Grace will enable us to stand and sing the songs of the exiles. The lyrics will reflect our allegiance to the King of Kings, His kingdom, and its culture of holiness. 

Though we are made to feel like outsiders, and though we bear the brunt of society’s scorn, our voices must not be silenced.  The noise of evil must not prevail over the praises of God’s people. It’s not time to close the piano lid or retire the pen of the poet. Never has the music of faith been more important, and never are songs sweeter than when saints raise their joyful voices with tear-stained faces. 

Let my hope sing. Amen

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