Friday, September 14, 2007

By the Rivers of Babylon--a look at an Imprecatory Psalm

On Tuesday of this week, we started a new sermon series in the Ozark Christian College chapel services. The series, titled Echoes of Worship, is based on the book of Psalms. Our president, Matt Proctor, preached the first sermon in the series. It was on Psalms of Lament, and the text chosen was Psalm 137, a psalm from the Babylonian exile. During the 1980s, Boney M, a Jamaican group that made it big in Europe (and around most of the world, except for the U.S.), recorded a song titled By the Rivers of Babylon. I think of Boney M when I read Psalm 137.

The end of Psalm 137 spews hatred toward the Edomites and the Babylonians:

God, remember those Edomites,
and remember the ruin of Jerusalem,
That day they yelled out,
“Wreck it, smash it to bits!”
And you, Babylonians—ravagers!
A reward to whoever gets back at you
for all you’ve done to us;
Yes, a reward to the one who grabs your babies
and smashes their heads on the rocks!
Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (Ps 137:7-9). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

Matt did an excellent job of introducing this series, and in treating this class of psalms. You can listen to it in streaming audio by clicking here, or download an mp3 file of it by clicking here. I recommend it heartily.


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