One of my favorite trees of all times is the willow. Those billowing, flowing branches that drape the ground are just beautiful! I should have known that those trees would have a purpose and spiritual significance in the Kingdom of God… I didn’t…. but I should have.
Psalm 137, believed to have been written by the weeping prophet himself (Jeremiah, he foretells of the coming destruction of the enemies of God. My mind likes to ponder that thought as I see the modern day enemies of God proclaim their victories in arrogance. After reading and studying this Psalm this morning I pray I’ll never view that tree the same again. What hope we have in that tree!
1-4 ~ 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?
Thus… the weeping willow! I get his emotional outcry. It is hard to rejoice and sing psalms when we see the nonsense going on around us that has our country in an uproar, and seemingly captive to doing anything about it. The children of Israel were physically captive and being carried away into Babylon and their oppressors were wanting them to entertain them with their songs of Zion. “How can I rejoice?” Jeremiah asked. But then he encouraged himself to do just that in verses 5-6
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
And this is where my soul begin to think itself happy. Just as the children of Israel were looking to Zion as that day when their captive souls would be free from bondage and in the arms of God, so should we. Our Lord will not always be mocked and the mockers will have their day of destruction. Read on weary child of God.
Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
The word “rase” means to destroy! And our enemies, just like the daughter of Babylon who rejoiced in the misery that they inflicted upon God’s children, they’ll be rewarded by God, but not as they believe. They’ll be rewarded with the same treatment that they’re dishing out today. Their arrogance will be short lived on that day.
So as I pass by the weeping willow tree I’ll recall the words of Jeremiah in Psalm 137 and I will rejoice. For we are on our way to a city whose builder and maker is God and death and destruction will be no more. I’ll not hang my harp upon the willows, but I’ll fiddle the tune of Amazing Grace and thank God that I am heading there someday to be with Him.