Praise the Lord I Can Sing….

How shall we sing the Lord‘s song in a foreign land? (Psalms 137: 4 ESV)

Growing up I always was reminded of my race, which allowed me to be aware of those who were of a different race around me. One way my family, school and church would remind of my race was to bring up slavery and black history. Most of my life I heard about the hardships of slavery, the racism of the south, and civil rights leaders. However, I also learned how they sang. They sung to songs like Wade in the Water, Oh, Freedom, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, and We Shall Overcome. They sang these songs while often abused, oppressed, dehumanized, beaten, and seemingly hopeless. Although, they sang these songs with hope that one day they will escape their temporary hardships.

The scripture in Psalm 137 is in reference to the exile of the Israelites and how they remember Jerusalem. They remember the temple or the house of the LORD. They were away from the place they called home, which was destroyed. The temple they remembered was demolished and they were taken captive. They were down cast and in a state of deep sadness. Their captors asked them to sing one of the songs of Zion in a land far from home. Israel was haunted by the desire to be back in the land they loved.

Often times I survey the news headlines and the condition of the world is depressing. This world still is plagued with poverty, oppression, abuse, illness, disaster,death, and sin. We have all been affected one way or another by this. There is no where you can run or hide in this world to escape it. As believers we know we have a inheritance that awaits in a place not made or contaminated by the sickness of this world. The news is if we are believers we have reason to sing because we know this world is corrupted, sinful, and temporary. We have reason to sing because of 2 Corinthians 5:1

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

However, if the hope of Christ did not flood my soul  and I had a accurate view of the condition of the world, no song would come from my lips. I would live too downcast to sing a song knowing this world is full of wickedness and it would come to an end. The knowledge of pain and suffering would haunt my mind knowing it would always be this way. The thoughts of my death would make me hesitate to close my eyes.

BUT, Praise the Lord, I can sing now because I know the truth. I can sing the Old Negro Spiritual with joy:

Soon-a will be done a-with the troubles of the world
Troubles of the world, troubles of the world
Soon-a will be done a-with the troubles of the world
Goin’ home to live with God

Amen.

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