By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, When we remembered Zion (Psalm 137:1 KJV)
When Israel rebelled against the commandments of the Lord, they were taken captive to Babylon, a distant land with a strange setting and foreign gods. The Israelites would sit by the rivers of Babylon and mourn greatly as they remembered when they were in their homeland in Zion. They remembered Jerusalem and the Temple. They remembered how things used to be and compared it with their present circumstances. They wept.
I wonder if there is anyone of you reading this devotional that has not had an experience of the rivers of Babylon. It represents the place where we face the pain of disobedience as we remembered our prior estate in God. For some, it is the dramatic fall from the ministry grace you once operated in. You were used powerfully before of God, but that is the only story you tell today. You also sit in your heart by the river of Babylon and tears run down your cheeks.
Still, for others, it is our personal lives as we face the grief and the pain of our disobedience. The rivers of Babylon represent the place where we remember what life was before we went off track and landed in Satan’s snare. Now our health, marriage, finances, relationships, spiritual life, etc are in ruins before our eyes. We also sit by our river of Babylon and weep.
But there is hope in this verse. Theologians agree that the wording of the Psalmist indicates he was recounting the events in past tense, meaning there were no longer in Babylon but back in Jerusalem. They had been restored and he was merely looking back at the grief and sorrow they endured in the land of captivity. That same hope is yours right now. The good news is that if you are still weeping by the rivers of Babylon in your life, God wants just one thing from you. Remember where you have fallen and return to Him. He will not remove the rivers overnight, but as with the Psalmist, He will walk you back to the land of your joy and gladness. He wants to restore that joy and peace of heart you had. He wants to restore that place of spiritual fullness you had before that person or that thing came into your life and changed you for the worse. He wants to put a smile again on your face and take you out of that dark place of depression, emotional oppression or addiction.
What do the rivers of Babylon mean to you personally today?
APPLY THE WORD
If you are still weeping by the rivers of Babylon in your life, please hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you today. He has one instruction for you and that is to come to Him. He is our Father, and He will walk us through the mess we put ourselves in. I learned a long time ago that even when I put myself in a mess, the most important thing for me to do is to run to God and trust Him rather than remain in that place and mourn over my mess. This can be hard, but you will glad you learn this lesson early in life!
Pray for the wisdom and strength to leave the place by the rivers of Babylon, where you might have remained there for years weeping and crying.