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Bible Teaching, Bible Study, Teaching, Verses, Sermons, online, mp3, classesA Bible Teaching Ministry of Galyn Wiemers

Daily Devotions, Evening and Morning Devotional


Sunrise on Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Back to Previous Devotion

June 25 - Morning

"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;

they said,
'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!'

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
'Tear it down,' they cried,
'tear it down to its foundations!'

Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks."

- Psalms 137

Sunset on the Sea of Galilee; Click to go to next devotion  
The Captured Band    

Psalm 137 records the experience and confessions of the temple musicians during their first years in Babylon after their deportation in 586 BC. This Levitical order of musicians were likely among those who had ignored Jeremiah’s teaching and watched him as he was publicly mocked in stocks on the temple mount (Jeremiah 20:1-6), possibly while they had performed in the background. Now, Jeremiah’s words had been fulfilled and his warnings had proven just.

The Hebew noun neharot in Psalm 137:1 translated “rivers” or “streams” is a reference to the many canals cut through and around the beautiful city of Babylon connecting the Tigris and Euphrates for protection, travel and resources.

Nebuchadnezzar’s deportation of the Jews included the plundering of the Temple of precious metal (gold, silver, bronze, etc.), furniture and articles, but also the transportation of the priestly musical instruments into Babylon. Taking the levitical musicians along with their musical instruments captive would be similar to kidnapping your favorite rock and roll band along with their guitars and sound equipment. Then, setting up their stage and demanding they perform an outdoor concert of party and celebration. This is seen in Psalm 137:2, “There among the poplars,” when the Levites express how difficult it is to perform the joyful songs (example: the Psalms of Ascent) while they are in a foreign land and the image of their burning temple and slaughtered bodies of members of their community is still fresh in their memory. (The remains of the Assyrian palace of Sennacherib in Nineveh preserves a similar setting in a relief showing Assyrian captors watching their Jewish prisoners from Lachish carry and play their lyres, or “guitars”, as they are deported into a foreign land in 701 BC.)

In 137:5 the Jewish musicians take an oath and curse their tongue from singing and their right hand, which was used to strum the lyre, from its skill of playing if they sing the joyful songs of Zion for the Babylonians.

Instead these Levitical musicians turn this chance to perform songs of joy formerly sung on the Temple Mount into a song (Psalm 137) with lyrics of angry vengeance and rebellion toward their Babylonian captors and their Edomite neighbors (see book of Obadiah) who cheered the success of the Babylonian destruction. These priestly musicians end this song that is sung for their captors with the lyrics:

“Happy is he who repays you…he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

These lyrics are on the opposite side of the spectrum of musical lyrics. These words swinging from words of joy and celebration to shouts of chaos and rebellion.Psalm 137 Harps played in captivity

  Christian Quote from Church History
"The Christians build hospitals in which they receive the poor, the sick, and travelers, and in each city they have one, two or even three hospitals. But I never heard that the Saracens (Muslims) have more than two hospitals, one at Tunis and the other at Alexandria."
- Raymond Lull (1235-1315), Spanish mystic and missionary
Something to Ponder??

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), a Spanish soldier and founder of the Jesuit Order, said in 1522:

"To arrive at the truth in all things, we ought always to be ready to believe that what seems to us white is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it."

(Both the OT prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 5:20 and Jesus in Matthew 6:23 warned of this twisted attitude.)

Hebrew and Greek Word Study   Facts and Information

Yom (Hb) - Day (Eng) - The basic translation of yom is “day” as referring to the time from
sunrise to sundown. The opposite of yom is Layla (“night”).
The two words yom and Layla are used in contrast in:

In addition to referring to the period of time from sunrise to sundown called “day,”
can also refer to:

  • A 24 hour period of time
  • A general period of time
  • A moment in time
  • A historically important point in time

In the book of Acts the author Luke accurately uses the language, words and the official titles popular during the first century when he wrote. The appearance of these words in Luke’s writings gives credibility to the authenticity
of his writings since a forgery or an author of a later date writing a pseudo-graph would not have had the ability
or knowledge Luke demonstrates. Here are
some examples from the
book of Acts:

14:11 – Lycaonian is the language spoken at Lystra
16:8 – Troy was properly called Troas
17:6 – Magistrates in Thessalonica are also called “politarchs” on inscriptions
17:18 – “spermologos” was a slang word in Athens that correctly applied to their view of Paul
19:35 – “neokoros” is the correct Roman title of honor
27:28 – taking soundings to measure the depth of water is correctly referred to as “bolisantes”
28:7 – the leader on the Island of Malta is correctly called “protos tes nesou” (“first man of the Island”) and not “chief”, “king”, or some other term that would not have been correct in the contemporary, local language.

Confession to Action   Facts and Information
I will   "Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone."
- Proverbs 25:15
Read the Bible in a Year; Bible Reading Program
Read one chapter each day to read through the narrative portion (or, the story line) of the whole Bible Genesis-Acts in one year. Read the General Text of the Bible Read the Complete Text of the Bible in a Year
Second Samuel 3 Nahum 3 1 Kings 15:1-24; 2 Chron. 13
Prayer for Today
Personal Prayer Church Prayer Item National Prayer Concerns World Prayer Concerns

Property and possessions

Christ-like attitudes
and actions

Illegal Drugs

Photo of Jerusalem; Pictures of Israel Bible Map and Diagram
Remains of a shepherd's tower in the hills of Benjamin

Siloam road from the Pool of Siloam to the Western Wall

Details and labels for the location of the Pool of Siloam and the road that ran from the Pool of Siloam north along the Western Wall. This is a model of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD.

(Details for this road are here.)

Remains of a shepherd's tower in the hills of Benjamin  
(click photo for larger image.)  
Details and Explanation of Sets & Reps Devotional System Here Make a donation to support Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry
Reps & Sets is a daily Bible devotional for Christians from Generation Word Bible Teaching used each morning and evening.

  © 2005 Generation Word  
Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry   Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry