For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion." How can we sing the Lord's song In a foreign land? (Psalm 137:3-4) (NASB)
God's chosen people had been taken into Babylonian captivity. In today's passage, their captors only added to their misery by demanding that they sing one of the songs of Zion. But they were now in a strange land; a foreign land - somewhere they had never been before. Their hearts were sad and their spirits were low. They had brought their harps with them, but hung them up. Maybe they didn't want to play for idol worshipers. Maybe they felt they couldn't sing the Lord's song in pagan territory. We live in what seems at times like a world that has forgotten God. There is pain and confusion everywhere, but God will still give you a song if you let Him. Somebody reading this may be in a strange land right now. You may be in a place in your life you've never been before. You may be in a place where you don't know what to do, and you're learning some lessons you never had to learn before. I hope I can encourage somebody to keep singing, even though you're in a "strange" land. You may have been singing a song of lament - a "woe is me" song. But switch that to a song of praise! Don't know where to start? Open your Bible to the Psalms. Or open a hymn book and find one that contains words of praise, majesty, and power that belongs to our God - it won't take you long. Or if you don't have at the moment a hymn book or a Bible, get alone and look into your heart, and look on the face of God. Meditate on how good He's been and what you already know about Him. He will give you a song to sing.
You still have a reason to sing, but change your song.