WHAT’S YOUR BABYLON?

God cares for the persecuted

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The stress of captivity

 

Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our lyres, hanging them on the branches of the willow trees. For there our captors demanded a song of us. Our tormentors requested a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!” But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?

Psalm 137:1-4

Your Babylon

In captivity in Babylon, the Jews wept for their homeland and prayed for the day when they might return. But when the day of their release from captivity finally came and they were allowed to return, only about fifty thousand (out of hundreds of thousands) made the trek back to Jerusalem. Why?

For one thing, some of the Jews were making a good living in Babylon — a better living than their fathers had made in Jerusalem. Others had married Babylonian spouses and become assimilated into Babylonian culture. They had forgotten Jerusalem. Can you blame them? Seventy years of captivity is a long time.

Whatever the reason, some of the Jews weren’t like the writer of Psalm 137, which apparently was written shortly after their return from exile.

The Bible speaks of heaven as our Jerusalem and suggests that where we are now living is Babylon on earth. How comfortable are you in your Babylon? How are you faring there? Have you forgotten that you, too, are an exile, a pilgrim in a foreign land? What are you looking ahead to?

from The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 11

Digging Deeper: For more on facing persecution, read Jerry Jenkin’s Shadowed, a novel about keeping faith in the last days. Tyndale House Publishers (hardcover 2005, softcover 2006).

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

BE STILL AND WAIT UPON THE LORD

PHILIPPIANS 4:3

PHILIPPIANS 4:3

Psalm 46:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Proverbs 21:2

King James Version (KJV)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Where do we find God’s presence?

Open for me the gates where the righteous enter; and I will go in and thank the Lord. Those gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there. I thank you for answering my prayer and saving me!

Psalm 118:19-21 NLT

The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely.

Psalm 145:18 NLT

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.

Ephesians 3:12 NLT
[Psalm 118] pictures a victorious yet battle-weary king at the helm of a throng of grateful people entering the gates of the temple to thank God for saving them. During those times, the temple represented God’s presence—the place where followers would go to pray to the Lord. Today, we enter into God’s presence in a car, at work, or in the aisles of a grocery store—wherever we take time to pray to him. We can be sure God hears our prayers and answers each one wherever and whenever they are uttered. And by doing so, he gives us even more reasons to pray.  Each moment we stop to pray to Father God, we are being still-and hopefully Hearing God [ Numbers 24:3-5  New International Version (NIV):

and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!]

Let us be still in His presence and hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us about God’s desire for our lives.  Amen

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,” Hebrews 12:28 NIV