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!