1 Kings 20:1–21:29; Acts 12:24–13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16
Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land? – Psalm 137:1-4
In Jeremiah 29:11-14, the prophet Jeremiah addressed a group of exiled Israelites tempted to lose hope. They understood they were defeated by the Babylonians and exiled from their homeland because of their sin. But, what were they supposed to do now? How should they live in this foreign land? As they contemplated where they came from and where they were now, they sat down and wept by the rivers of Babylon, and they asked,
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? – Psalm 137:1-4
The Israelites forgot that even though they were exiled from their land, God was still right there with them; they were still His chosen people. God still wanted them to seek Him, know Him, worship Him, and love Him (even in Babylon).
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord. – Jeremiah 29:13-14a
When we are overwhelmed with a sense that we have lost our direction and our circumstance makes us feel like there is no hope, we must remember that our priority as God’s people is still to search for Him with all of our heart and seek to know Him more intimately. And never, ever forget – our Hope is not a feeling, it is a person, and His name is JESUS! Searching, Seeking, and finding Him and holding on to true HOPE – that is how you will continue to sing the Lord’s song in both familiar and strange lands.
Because He Humbleth Himself Before Me
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house. – 1 King 21:25-29
Separate Me Barnabas and Saul
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. – Acts 13:1-3
A Price in the Hand of a Fool to Get Wisdom
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? – Proverbs 17:16
It is a waste of time and energy to counsel someone that doesn’t want your counsel; teach someone that doesn’t want to be taught; to help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. Sometimes people come to you seeming to want these things by the drama they bring…but all they really want is attention. You will know for sure that is the case when you show them love but ignore the drama, and the drama escalates. They have no heart for what you offer, so to keep offering is useless.