We hung our small harps on the willow trees.
~Psalm 137:2, CEV
Self-pity is the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical drugs; it is addictive and dangerous. It gives momentary pleasure and then separates the victim from reality.
~John W. Gardner
If we understood the destructive power of drugs, we would be afraid to be near them and the same can be said about self-pity. Nothing diminishes us like feeling sorry for ourselves. Self-pity shrinks the soul. The Jewish people are resilient and they have my blessing but many of the exiles carried to Babylon made a bad mistake. First, they ignored the words of Jeremiah the prophet who told them exactly what was going to happen and what to do when it happened. Their rebellious hearts kept them from hearing and obeying. Had they not rebelled against God, they would not have been in Babylon in the first place. Instead of confessing up to their sins, they blame the Babylonians. The Jews were noted for their celebrative music. Hey, I am a lover of Jewish music, the only one in my household other than my new grand daughter-in -law. The Babylonians had heard about their music and so they ask them to do a few numbers. The Jews were offended: imagine that! They took it as an insult and refused to sing. Matter of fact, they hung their harps on the willows and sat down in the grass and had a pity party.
I have probably read this Psalm two hundred times or more but I saw something yesterday that I had not seen before. Do you see the connection between attitude and worship. The Jews had a bad attitude and they refused to sing. They had a golden opportunity to be a witness but they blew it. All their music was about God, the One True God. These Babylonians were basically begging them to tell them about God and they refused. Notice something else: they hung their harps on the trees. They refused to use their gifts, even if it meant helping others. If you will look at verse 9, you will see something else interesting: ” May the Lord bless everyone who beats your children against the rocks!” What an ugly and hateful thing for God’s children to say. We can’t win the world by fighting hate with more hate. But the phrase that really got me was, “we sat down.” What kind of body language is that? Perhaps: “I don’t care”…or “You can’t make me sing”…“I don’t feel like singing”…“I’m not doing anything you want me to do.” Can we really give the LORD our best when we refuse to stand and sing? I have lung problems and it’s getting harder and harder to sing but it is really hard to sing while I sitting. If our grand kid scored a TD or hit a home run, would we celebrate by sitting. Just how do we celebrate by sitting? So you don’t feel like standing: do you think Jesus felt like dying? So your knees and back ache: would you compare that to the fire that ran through every nerve in our LORD’s body for six solid hours?
I think we have an attitude problem. I don’t think it is necessarily self-pity in most cases, I think it is indifference, laziness and our exceeding love of comfort. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Got in that chat group again last night: “Iron sharpens iron.” There are some brilliant minds in the group and I am learning from them. I would like to repeat what was said but it is too profound. It would be over the average readers head. I am speaking of the intellectual content not the bull.
Day one of VBS @ DBC went well. We had a listening team there to help us in our planning at GP. I also lined up four or five kids to attend our school. I would like to go to a day school but when I mentioned it, my leaders looked at me like a calf at a new gate.