By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 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.
4 How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6 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.
7 Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8 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.
I do not know what it is like to be a captive in a foreign land, but I do know what it is like to be homesick.
While serving as a student missionary, I spent many hours reminiscing with my best friend about my home in the United States. We would make up songs about our homeland and watch planes take off into the sunset, reminding ourselves that “one day that will be us, heading home.”
Sometimes, I feel that same kind of homesickness for heaven. I long to be reunited with my mother, restored to full health, and freed from evil. Come to think of it, maybe I do know what it is like to be a captive in a foreign land, for certainly this world is not my home. Sometimes my longing for the better world is so intense that I am left feeling despondent and trapped here on Planet Earth.
But like this Psalmist, who hints at a fear of forgetting his homeland, I would rather be homesick for heaven than attached to this world. Wouldn’t you?
Freelance Writer and Editor
Cleveland, Tennessee, USA