Read Psalm 137. This Psalm is loved by Christians and Jewish people, especially those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Right after the fall of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and it’s capital Jerusalem many Jews were brought to Babylon. Daniel was one of the young men and his friends that were brought into captivity. Jews love poetry and songs such as the Psalms. On their perilous and difficult journey over 400 miles maybe from Jerusalem to Babylon they rested by the rivers of Babylon. One of these rivers was the Euphrates and other tributaries. Their Babylonian masters required of them to sing a song of Zion.
They replied in verses 4, 5, 6, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem. Let my right hand forget it’s skill! If I do not remember you. Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth- if I do not exalt you Jerusalem Above my chief joy.”
It must have been emotionally difficult to sing your native song in a foreign land, particularly if you are forced to do it and mocked and laughed at for doing so. Someone has said, the word Jerusalem has been mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 645 times, 392 times in the New Testament.
At the turn of the 21st century the city of Jerusalem has 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, 73 mosques (the Wize Guide pg.5)
In his book “War Diary, the War of Independence”, Ben Gurion said these words:”If a country has a soul, Jerusalem is the soul of the land of Israel...Jerusalem demands that we stand by her side and is entitled to such. The oath sworn by the rivers of Babylon is just as binding today as it was then, for otherwise we shall not be worthy of being called the People of Israel.”
I love Paul’s prayer for Israel when he said in Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” This should be our prayer too and we pray that they will understand the richness and fullness of God’s grace concerning salvation. As believers we know that we are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ.