Over the course of my life, there were several years that I never wanted to end as I was having the time of my life. Other years can be best described by “blah, ho hum or nothing special.” However, as December begins and a New Year approaches, most Americans are ready now to turn the page on 2020. Between the Coronavirus, countless deaths, a troubled economy and whatever else you have endured, finding something to sing about is tough.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we [captives] sat down, yes, we wept when we [earnestly] remembered Zion [the city of our God imprinted on our hearts]. 2 On the willow trees in the midst of [Babylon] we hung our harps, Psalm 137:1-2.
The Psalmist writes about a similar period in his own life. The forced detention of Jews to Babylonia following the conquest of the kingdom of Judah began in 598. This exile would last a total of 12 years, removing the wind beneath the wings of this harp player. After being removed from their beloved land, musicians lost their desire to play an instrument. Subsequently, harps were abandoned, hung in nearby willow trees in Babylon.
For there they who led us captive required of us a song with words, and our tormentors and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill [with the harp]. 6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I remember you not, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy! – Psalm 137:3-6.
People listen to music for a variety of reasons. Some listen as a form of entertainment, others to pass the time or seek inspiration from a particular song or genre of music. While music can sooth human souls as in the case of King Saul in 1 Samuel 16, depressing music can plant troubling thoughts. Whenever I am depressed, I rely on certain songs to uplift my mood. Yet, when you lose the desire to sing, come to Jesus to lighten your load, Matthew 11:28-30.
by Jay Mankus