Monday, April 01, 2013

Singing in a Foreign Land

Before the modern times of ‘civility’, a country that was defeated in a war might well have their population removed from their homeland and carried to the foreign land that had won the war.  The people who were relocated would become slaves of their captors. 
Such was the case with the Jewish nation as recorded in scripture.  In 722BC, the Northern Nation of Israel was captured by the Assyrians under Sargon and around 586BC; the Southern land of Judah was captured by the Babylonian under Nebuchadnezzar.  Many of the people who were taken into captivity were never heard from again.  They were lost to either genocide or cultural absorption.
After almost 70 years in Babylon, the people of God were getting homesick.  From an unnamed writer we read a report in Psalms 137 of how these people felt.  It reads, “By the waters of Babylon, we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. There we hung our harp on a willow tree, for our captors there ask us for songs and our tormentors, for rejoicing saying, Zion.”  How can we sing the Lord’s song on foreign soil?”
Consider some of the things in your life which can take the form of a ‘strange land.’
First, it could be a foreign country.  I have never desired to be a world traveler because I don’t know the laws & customs in the other countries.  My fear is that I would go and break some custom and wind up in a hole in the ground for the rest of my life.  It’s difficult to sing in a place like that.
Next, it can be this nation.  Candidly, I LOVE the USA!  That said, this country is quickly becoming a strange place.  The country which I have known valued the lives of little children, understood the meaning of morality, and believed in absolute truth.  Today, those standards are all but gone.  It’s difficult to sing in a place like that.
While there are many other ‘foreign lands’ we could name, here is a question for our consideration; “Will we hang our harps on a tree and not sing?” or “Will we reclaim the songs of Zion and let the world hear that God is still love and Jesus is still alive?” 
Let those who have a relationship with God pick up our guitars and sing our songs of joy – even in a strange land.  It could well make a difference.

(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @

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