2016-01-29 - Harsh Words
Originally Published 2008-07-22
Psalms 137:8-9 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones
These are harsh words, with some horrific imagery. I can think of nothing less happy than seeing children killed - especially in such a graphic way. The Bible would be much easier to read, if it weren't for these types of passages.
Nevertheless, it is there, so let's take a few minutes to consider its purpose.
Consider the cruelty of the Babylonians. They swept across many nations, slaughtering or enslaving everyone, including the nation of Israel. If I were an Israelite living at that time, I might feel the exact same way. After all, doesn't the law say an eye for an eye?
The presence of such passages sets up a great contrast between the age of Law in the Old Testament and that of grace in the New Testament. Consider such radical statements of Jesus as "Turn the other cheek." (Matthew 5:39) and "Love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44)
Thank God for his grace. God still hates sin, but we are forgiven of our sins, and they are not repaid in the manner that the law demands. Jesus paid it all; all to him I owe. Because of him, God cries out with tender words to me, "I love you, my child. Come live with me forever."
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted