Psalm 137 Outline
– The Levites felt sad having to sing a song to their Babylonian captor (Psalm 137:1-3)
– The captives Jews responded they couldn’t sing because it is like insulting them (Psalm 137:4-6)
– The psalmist prayed for God to take vengeance against Edom (Psalm 137:7)
– The psalmist prayed for God to take vengeance against Babylonians (Psalm 137:8-9)
Psalm 137 Summary
In Psalm 137:1-3, the Levites were responsible for taking care of the musical instruments used in the temple worship. They were sad and sat down by the rivers of Babylon weeping when they remembered Zion because their captors have demanded them to sing a song while they are being taken as captives to Babylon.
In Psalm 137:4-6, the captives Jews responded that they could not sing because this is like an insult from the enemies. While they were being held captives, the enemies demanded them to sing a song of praise. The psalmist said may his right hand forget its skill, his tongue cling to the roof of the mouth if he forgets Jerusalem. In other words, may God forget him and his presence not be with him if he forget Jerusalem.
In Psalm 137:7, the psalmist prayed that God will take vengeance against the Edomites because they wanted Jerusalem to be completely torn down to the foundation on the day Jerusalem was conquered.
In Psalm 137:8-9, the psalmist prayed that God will take vengeance against Babylon, who conquered Jerusalem and taken them as captives by taking the little ones of the Babylonians and dashing them against the rocks. This is done as retaliation against the Babylonians who did the same to the Jews.
Psalm 137 Bible Study
1. Godly vengeance
Taking vengeance against your enemies is a sin. The Bible teaches us to love one another as much as we love ourselves. In 2 Corinthians 7:11, For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
In Romans 12:17-21, recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.Â Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.Â Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.Â Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
In Ephesians 4:31-32, let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:Â And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.