Updated: May 11, 2020
by Rev. Sunyoung Lee, Senior Pastor
“By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and
there we wept when we remembered Zion.”
PSALM 137:1 (NRSV)
The words in Psalm 137 poetically capture the essence of the state of Israelites, who were held as captives in Babylon. As people that were carried off to a distant land of the enemies, Jews were in an aggravating situation that was utterly devastating and miserable - their holy temple destroyed, the once glorious city of Jerusalem completely ravaged and burned, and their precious possessions gone. In Babylon, their captors cruelly mocked and insulted their existence and even ridiculed them to sing a song of mirth. How can Jews not lament their wretched state as they sit by the riverside and remember their former glory and happy days in their native land, especially as their future looked nothing but bleak? They knew that the life they once had was no more and nothing would be the same again.