"Hanging Up Our Harps"
“But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?”
The children of Israel were captives in the land of Babylon. The Babylonians had swept through their country, conquered the people, burned Jerusalem, torn down the holy temple, and taken the captives back with them.
By the rivers of Babylon, the captives sat down and wept and hung up their harps on the willow trees. The problem was aggravated by the Babylonians tormenting the children of Israel: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!” (Psalm 137:3). But the people sadly replied, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4). Somehow unbelievers expect those who claim a relationship with the Music Maker to make music at all times—even when they are in “a foreign land.” Are you “captive” in a difficult situation? Have you hung up your harp?
I remember moving from the city to the country—a foreign land as far as I was concerned! I hung up my harp. But Jesus came along, reached up, and took it down again. “These people need to hear my music,” he said quietly, giving me back my instrument. “You don’t hang up your harp without permission, and I haven’t given you permission.”
So I began to play, in a minor key at first, but them in major chords of joy and triumph. I sang the familiar songs of my Lord. People listened, opened their lives, shared with me. Have you hung up your harp? Let Jesus get it down and tune it for you.
For further study: Psalm 137:1-9