Summary: Don"t Let Circumstances Dictate Your Praise
Don’t Hang Up Your Harp
We want to open the message with the scripture in Psalms 137:2-4.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For they that carried us away required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
We have a picture here of some people that when conditions changed and surroundings changed, when they were overtaken by the enemy, they hanged their harps on the willows.
Notice they never threw them away, they just laid them up.
Some people don’t want to throw their Christianity away; they just don’t want to carry it around all the time.
I see a very modern picture of a lot of Christians today. When conditions change, they hang up their harp (praise), and the enemy mocks and says; sing that joy song now. Now sing about your God. And we say, oh I just couldn’t sing now, but when my deliverance comes, then I’ll sing.
God you bless me and then I’ll praise you, then I’ll get my harp down .
You know it doesn’t take unfavorable conditions or hard persecution for some of us to hang our harp on the willow; just different surroundings.
Some people hang their harp up in the church parking lot on Sunday, and pick it back up on Wednesday. Some people hang it up long enough to go curse the neighbor out, but when the phone rings and it’s the Pastor, they grab that harp up. They say, "Oh, hi
preacher, another day the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." As soon as they hang up the phone they hang up their harp again.
The people in our text said, oh we couldn’t sing, we are too sad. How can we sing in a strange land?
The Bible says we are placed in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and we are to shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:15)
Teenagers might say everything is different today. You don’t know what it’s like. It’s hard to sing the songs of Zion out there.
Older Christians might say, oh it used to be great. We sure used to have revival. We used to really have church, but things have changed.
You’re right. Things have changed, but listen, we can’t hang our harps on the willows because things have changed.
There is one that hasn’t changed. God has not changed.
You can turn in your Bible to the 1st chapter of Daniel, and read of a young man who never let unfavorable circumstances rule. He kept his faith in God. He never hanged
up his harp, and bless God, his whole life had changed. He became the ruler over his circumstances.
He had the opportunity to keep his mouth shut (verse 5), his head down and go along with the flow. The king wasn’t threatening to cut off his head, but offering a life in the palace.
Satan would like for you to just go along with the flow. He would like for you to eat of all the world has to offer.
Daniel 1:8 says Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.
As soon as he set his heart (verse 9), God started making a way for Daniel.
God will make a way, but first we must make a decision.
Church, we hanged our harps up and prayer was taken out of our schools, and witchcraft and the occult became the fastest growing religion in America.
We hanged our harps up and homosexuality became an accepted life style. It is not only accepted, but ordained to the pulpit.
A Pentecostal Sunday school teacher said, "They can’t help it. They are born that way."
The Bible talks about people being born blind and people born crippled. I have never read in the Bible of anyone being a homosexual from birth. It is a SPIRIT, and it is SIN, but if we will get our harps back in our hands, we can see these ones delivered.
Daniel set the direction of his affection. Colossians 3:2 says to set your affections on things above.
Maybe we should check the direction of our affection. Make sure our affection for our
Savior has not been swallowed up by our concern for our circumstances. Make sure we aren’t spending too much time looking back at the old days. Don’t wait for some sweeping revival to come, and then we’ll get our harps down.
Some people spend their time looking back or waiting on something to come.