Studies in Psalms – Psa 137:3-9 “By the Rivers of Babylon” Part 2

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Psa 137:3-9 “By the rivers of Babylon” Part 2

Psa 137:3  For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 
Psa 137:4  How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
Psa 137:5  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 
Psa 137:6  If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. 
Psa 137:7  Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. 
Psa 137:8  O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 
Psa 137:9  Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. 

In this second part of our study entitled “By the Rivers of Babylon“, we will be looking at what will be required to continue to make “Jerusalem above my chief joy” and see how that joy is being given to each of us so we can help each other endure to the end of this life in the Lord (Col 1:24, 2Co 1:24). Remaining in that joy, as we will see, comes as a result of abiding in the word of God throughout our wilderness journey which frees us from the bondage of the law (Joh 8:31-33) by having Babylon deeply cleansed from within us. This cleansing occurs “by the rivers of Babylon” where we are tempted in all diverse manners just as our Lord (Heb 4:15-16) was drawn out into the wilderness and tempted of the devil for our benefit. God’s elect are represented by the scapegoat which is also sent into the wilderness to atone for the world’s sins by overcoming the world and all that is within it, through Christ (Joh 15:11-12, Joh 14:15, Joh 14:27, Luk 12:32, Mat 24:13, Php 4:13, Jas 1:14, Mat 4:1-3, Lev 16:10).

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

[Come boldly and confidently before God because we know Christ has endured all these things for our sakes so that we can overcome through him: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom 8:37)]

Joh 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Jas 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Mat 4:1  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:2  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Mat 4:3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

[Note: The forty days and forty nights, which represent the tribulation that is centered around a trial in Christ’s life that has to do with the devil tempting him to turn lifeless objects, stones that Christ likened Peter unto, into bread (Mat 16:18, 1Pe 2:5, Rev 21:19). Peter was lifeless and without true life until Pentecost. There are two forties in this event mentioned to remind us that Christ is witnessing to us that He will overcome the devil’s temptation by God’s holy spirit giving him the power to do the work of overcoming with an obedient spirit that produces the true bread of life(Act 5:32, Joh 3:34-36, Joh 5:30).

Satan wastes no time in this moment of temptation to discredit Christ of His sonship by saying “If thou be the Son of God” appealing to Christ’s hungry and vain flesh. That temptation was thwarted by the obedience of Christ to the word of God, as were the next two temptations our Lord endured for our sakes; not by might nor power but God’s spirit (Mat 4:5-10, Zec 4:6).

It is only after Christ overcomes the tempter within, and John, who represents the law, is bound in prison within us, that Christ can then come to us as the Rock or the true bread of life upon which we can mature and overcome with the true gospel of the kingdom of God which is within us and ready to be preached to all nations for a witness (Mat 16:18, Mar 1:13-15, Mat 24:14].

The psalmist is writing for our benefit when he speaks of “Jerusalem above my chief joy”, and this statement is a type of “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”. We can be helpers of each other’s joy if our hearts are laying up store in heaven the good works “which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” from the foundation of the world. It is those works which bear witness that we are His disciples in this age who have love one to another, which love is an obedience to every one of God’s commandments we keep.

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Joh 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Psa 137:3  For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

This third verse of our study can be explained with these two verses (Mat 11:16-24, Eze 33:32-33), that demonstrate how we are soldiers for Christ (2Ti 2:3-4) who are “carried away captive”. We go where our flesh does not want to go (Joh 21:18), and there we witness to Babylon that “wasted us” (Luk 15:17-18, Luk 8:38-39).

Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luk 15:18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

Luk 8:38  Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
Luk 8:39  Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Mat 11:16  But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
Mat 11:17  And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
Mat 11:18  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
Mat 11:19  The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Eze 33:32  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
Eze 33:33  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Our new song is one of mirth because we are singing about our treasure in heaven, Jesus Christ, our hope of glory who has brought us to our senses with the mind of Christ (Col 1:27, 1Co 2:16). It is in the heavenly realms above where we are seated as the body of Christ that we “sing the songs of Zion”, words that the world cannot spiritually hear and yet they want the name associated with these songs (Eph 2:6, Isa 4:1).

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Isa 4:1  And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Psa 137:4  How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
Psa 137:5  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 
Psa 137:6  If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

Our song or message of the true gospel is not good news for the flesh, just as Noah’s or Jeremiah’s preaching demonstrated for us in God’s word in type and shadow (Jer 7:25-27, 2Pe 2:5). We are hated by all men for His name’s sake as Christ told us we would be, if we “sing the LORD’S song in a strange land” (Mat 10:22, Mat 24:37).

Jer 7:25  Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
Jer 7:26  Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
Jer 7:27  Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.

2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

If we forget not ‘Jerusalem above’, the church, by coming together often as we seek the kingdom of God first and His righteousness (Mat 6:33-34), He will strengthen us with His right hand which represents His power; power that is made manifest through the many joints which will supply that power in the body of Christ (Heb 10:25, Eph 4:16).

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

When our tongue cleaves to the roof of our mouth, we are in a season that we are not bringing forth fruit (Lam 4:4, Eze 3:26), and so we are admonished to pray that this won’t happen for each other and ask the Lord that our flight be not on the sabbath or in the winter, which is what we do when we pray “I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mat 24:20-21, Jas 5:16, Luk 22:32, 1Jn 4:17, Mar 9:23-24).

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Luk 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Mar 9:23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Mar 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

It is in that gathering of the true saints of God we are strengthened and healed in our spirits. Our “right hand” (of verse 5) represents where the power of God comes from through Christ (Rom 8:34, Joh 14:20) and must always come from in order for those hands to not lose their cunning (Php 1:6). If we wait on the Lord and are of good courage (Psa 27:14), our right hand will not forget her cunning, meaning we will be skilled in the word being able to rightly divide it as we help sharpen each other in the Lord (2Ti 2:15, Pro 27:17). We can be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us being “prepared unto every good work” (1Pe 3:15, 2Ti 2:21). If we seek the kingdom first or continue to make “Jerusalem above my chiefest joy”, then we will truly be overcomers in the Lord by the grace through faith that He provides to do so (Eph 2:8).

Psa 137:7  Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
Psa 137:8  O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 

We don’t want to forget “the day of Jerusalem” which represents the day of our visitation or the ‘day of the Lord’, and so we must watch and pray and be ready against all the gainsayers at the end of this age who have said and will say “Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof” (2Pe 3:3-4), speaking of mankind’s natural hatred against Christ and His Christ’s message of hope (Luk 12:34-40, Act 4:27-28, Mat 10:22).

2Pe 3:3  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

God willing, we will respond with the faith Mary demonstrated when told by an angel of God that “thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son” (Luk 1:31). That angel, in type, represents the elect who exhort each other daily (Heb 3:13) as we learn to bear each other’s infirmities and not despise the day of small things (Zec 4:10). It was because of unbelief that Zacharias remained speechless until the day of John’s naming and circumcision “on the eighth day” (Luk 1:20, Luk 1:22, Luk 1:59, Luk 1:63), representing the miracle of blinding that God brings upon the majority of the world for an appointed time through Satan (2Co 4:4). Babylon has been predestined to be destroyed within the lives of God’s elect first as stated “O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us”. She (Babylon) is destroyed as we “come out of her, my people” (Rev 18:5-7, Isa 61:7-9, Rev 18:4).

2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Rev 18:5  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6  Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. [think within for today]
Rev 18:7  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. [Rev 3:18]

Isa 61:7  For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
Isa 61:8  For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Isa 61:9  And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.

Rev 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Psa 137:9  Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock. 

The “daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed” of verse 8 is done so by dashing “thy little ones against the rock”. The little ones represent false doctrines in type and shadow, and dashing them “against the rock” is another way of saying the idols of our hearts must be destroyed by our Lord, “the rock” who sanctifies us, cleansing us from all sin as we come out of Babylon (1Jn 1:7, Joh 17:17).

1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We are happiest when we are about our Father’s business “happy shall he be” (Luk 2:49) of preparing the bride for future events through the washing of the word (Php 4:4, Col 1:24, Eph 5:26-27). God’s glorious plan is moving forward and leading to the salvation of all of mankind (Rev 19:7, 1Jn 2:2, 1Co 15:22, 1Ti 4:10). That salvation is the joy we are looking and pressing toward as Christ did “by the rivers of Babylon” (Php 3:14-15).

Luk 2:49  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

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