“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.” –Psalm 137:5-6
I’ve been experiencing some personal difficulties this past week involving people in my life. And I tried discussing the issues, mulling the issues over, etc. Yet no peace. Tonight I picked up my Bible and went looking for some personal time with the only One who can really make sense of and illuminate my situation, and as I read aloud the 139th Psalm, it felt like coming home. I went through a few others, making an effort to really hear what each verse said about God and about who He is to me.
These two verses spoke of a time of exile. The Israelites were in captivity and their conquerors demanded of them joyful songs like they used to sing in Jerusalem. The psalmist asked, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (vs 4). Guess what? Our entire lives are spent in a foreign land. Some Christians bemoan their continued existence on earth, longing for the day that they can enter paradise. The longing is good, but rather than whine and wail, let’s rejoice in knowing that our Jerusalem is within us, carried in our spirits throughout the years of our “exile” on earth.
These verses state emphatically that nothing is worthy of compare to Jerusalem, that is our place of worship, since that is where the Temple of old was located. Nothing we can put our hands to or accomplish, nothing we can talk about nor any relationship we have with another person, since communication breeds community. Let worship of the Father, who sent the Son, who sent the Spirit be your highest joy. Come home to the intimacy of His unfailing love.