Summary: Have you lost your song in a foreign land or ’far country’? The Jewish people did in Babylon...this message offers helps on how to return...(the audio has much more than does the manuscript)
Singing In a Foreign Land
* Our Psalm today is written by some unknown writer toward the end of the Jewish captivity. It appears to be a report of the feeling of the Jewish people at this time. In it, we can discover some common truths that we have with the Jewish people. Let’s read our scripture together.
* Very few things exciting us like a song. Music has been called the universal language and speaks to the very heart of people. Music has the ability to touch us in places that very few things have the ability to touch us. In fact, music shows up in some strange places. We hear it in public, private, and at the house even in the showers. In short, people generally love music and love to sing. But what happens when that song which seems to be berthed be in the soul & heart of an individual is snuffed out? That is the question then is ask today.
* Verse 4 asks this question which each of us can understand. How can we sing the Lord’s song on foreign soil? To understand the full meaning of this verse requires us to remember the context in which it was written.
* Most of us recognize Biblical names such as, Saul, David, and Solomon. These three are the last three Kings of the Jewish nation called Judah when it was a unified nation. If you recall, Solomon built this extravagant temple, the temple of god, along with many other fine palaces. In 922 BC Solomon passed away and his son, Rehoboam, came to the throne. The taxes which Solomon had levied on his people had been huge, but somehow the people felt they were fair. When making the determination of how to rule, Rehoboam, consulted with his father’s counselors. Those old and was counselors gave Rehoboam the same words they had given was King Solomon. That was, to continue things the way someone had been running them, however, Rehoboam had some young men his own age who he asks for counsel. These men council the king that now was the time to raise the taxes and show people who was boss. And this is what he did. The reaction of the people was swift and certain. In the northern part of the country a man named Jeroboam led the northern people, 10 tribes, to secede from Judah and form a separate nation called Israel. The result was that there were now two nations both of whom were decidedly weaker. The old adage is always true, “united we stand and divided we fall”.
* It took 200 years for the weakness of this circumstance to be taken advantage of. In 722, the Assyrians under Sargon came, defeated the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and took them into captivity. Half of those who were taken would be destroyed in genocide or through the absorption in culture. They were gone.
* It was only 120 to 140 later that a powerful King name Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon defeated the Southern Kingdom of Judah and took them into captivity & bondage. It is important to know and remember that in the Babylonian defeat, Solomon’s temple was obliterated (except for one wall). (Read 2 Chronicles 36:15-21) Here’s the point; when God’s people evokes God’s wrath, they were completed defeated to be point of being demoralized. In some books, you’ll discover a word picture of men’s bodies strewn around while women were connect by a rope run through the rings which had been placed in their noses. It was an awful sight.