Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept
as we thought of Jerusalem.
We put away our harps,
hanging them on the branches of poplar trees.
For our captors demanded a song from us.
Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn:
“Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”
Have you ever wondered what would have happened to the Jewish captives in Babylon if they had dared to do what their captors demanded?? They were in dire straits and misery had overtaken them, and like so many of us, they acted exactly in line with how their circumstances were making them feel: they hung up their harps and wept!
What would have happened if they had done what Paul and Silas did in the jail in the account in Acts 16. They too were captives, beaten and imprisoned unjustly and kept in the inner dungeon. They had every cause to weep, but they sang and praised with loud voices, so that the other prisoners heard them.
Some people conclude that their praise prompted their deliverance, but if you read that account, you will see that is wasn’t just Paul and Silas’ chains that fell off. Everyone in that jail received deliverance, including the ones who were there because of the crimes they had committed, and Including the ones who didn’t believe in God.
The fact is that the Lord cannot stay away from sounds made in His honor. He inhabits the praises of His people. God Himself came down into that jail and caused the localized earthquake, and wherever He is, captives MUST be released! His very presence set everyone free, no matter who they were!
It’s not about being able to sing in tune, or putting on a musical performance; it is about having a song in your mouth that rises up from your heart, which places a demand on the presence of God in your situation.
It’s time to stop being depressed just because you feel out of control of the things that are happening to you. Keep your heart flowing with the praises of the Lord and let His wisdom be formed in you. You are from the tribe of Judah, and it is time for you to roar!
Take the mournful songs that echo the way you feel off your playlist and create one that stirs you up, because if you will get stirred up today with the goodness of the Lord, you will stir Him up to inhabit your situation. It’s time to get your praise on!
Heavenly Father, I praise you today for your unfailing goodness. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made and you know everything there is to know about me. Everything about my life is under control. I praise you for your faithfulness and your commitment to me. I praise you for your kindness and your goodness in my life, today and every day. I am not going to let another day pass before I reclaim my song of praise to you!
I praise you because you are worthy of all praise. You are good and your love endures forever. I praise you for your Word, for your promises and for your faithfulness to perfect everything that concerns me. I praise you because all good and perfect gifts come from you. I praise your name forever, Lord! Hallelujah!