By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
Remember, O Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us–he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
The writer of this psalm is in sorrow remembering the days before the Lord had permitted the Babylonians to capture them and destroy their homeland. The people of the Lord had sinned and disobeyed God. When they refused to repent and come back to him, God permitted their enemies to conquer them. The writer now desires for God to repay them for the harm they have done to them. We must repent of our wrong to regain our right standing with God. Then we can regain our joy of worship.
Father thank you for the joy of our salvation in you. Fill our hearts with songs of praise for you. Help us to pray for our enemies, to do good for them that would spitefully use us and to forgive others in the same manner that you have forgiven us. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.