The Lord’s Song

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?  Psalm 137:4

The exiles in Babylon hung their lyres on the willows. Their broken hearts could not sing the songs of Zion in a strange place. The taunts of their enemies only made their silence more certain and their resolve grow deeper. They would not forget and they would not sing.

The New Testament faith is built solidly upon the old, but here is one striking difference. Old Testament faith was attached to a specific piece of geography. When separated from that parcel of ground, hear how the heart mourns!

By contrast, stand outside a jail cell in Philippi and listen. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, (Act 16:25) Faith is alive and the servants of God are singing. The disciples’ hearts were not fixed on a city in this world. Rather, they were like Abraham whose heart was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10)

And the prisoners were listening to them. Take your lyre down from the willows, O believer, and sing your song. You are not home and the prisoners are listening!

What a Savior!

Unless

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  Psalm 127:1

The Lord blesses that which is built upon his word.  There is a pressure no foundation can stand and an enemy no watchman can see.  Only the Lord can preserve us.  Only he can protect us.

For a generation that delights in being on “the right side of history,” we seem to know very little of it.  History is lavishly supplied with the tumbled houses and stunned watchmen of those who abandoned the ways of God.  Their number is not just plentiful but complete.  Apart from God, it is only a matter of who gets to the finish line first.

Unless…  Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24f

What a wonderful Savior he is!