Go Ahead and Hang It Up!
Updated: Apr 19
A few devotional thoughts from Psalm 137:1–4
1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept,
When we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps
Upon the willows in the midst thereof.
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.
4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song
In a strange land? Psalm 137:1–4
I am going to give you some unusual advice this morning, just hang it up!
Yep, you heard it right sister, just hang it up! Hang it up brother, it is ok!
Just go ahead and hang it up!
When Jerusalem was destroyed, many were taken captive and transported to Babylon. It was there that their captors pushed them to sing the songs about their homeland. Can you imagine making someone sing about their recently destroyed home, a home from which they had recently been kidnapped? It is thoughtless and cruel. To make the demand even worse, these oppressors were demanding mirth. They expected singing mixed with laughter and joy. The response of the captives was refusal. Instead of singing they sat and wept. They hung up their harps and said no.
I have a confession to make, I have been on both sides of this Psalm.
I have been in a place of sadness where I couldn’t sing. I have had my heart so broken that I couldn’t fake my normal smile. I have also been the ignorant preacher who foolishly fussed and fumed about someone being sad in church. I have demanded singing and a smile from a hurting soul who had neither to give. How foolish of me! God himself allowed sadness in his Psalms, who am I that I should I outlaw it in his church? Of all of the gathering places in this world, should not the church be the most accepting of broken people with broken hearts? For me, it took the experience of sadness to understand the sin that I had committed by not creating a safe place for people in pain. If you don’t feel like you can sing with me that is ok, let my song encourage you. There may be a day when I will sit silent and be helped by your song.
But what about hanging it up?
When these children of Israel hung up their harps they were actually performing an act of faith. They did not smash their instrument like at the conclusion of a WHO concert or throw their harp into the river, they hung it up for later use. That little act tells me that they had intentions of once again picking up their instrument. By Faith they planned on finding their lost song. So, that is my advice to you my hurting friend, hang it up! I believe that you will find your lost song and your missing smile.