Let Us Illustrate 2 Lessons from Solomon (Proverbs 13:12)
1. In this verse Solomon wrote 2 statements that are especially appropriate for the situation that we are facing. 2. These statements teach 2 important lessons. a. First, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." 1) A delay in receiving something we hope for causes anguish of heart. 2) We are filled with uncertainty while we deal with coronavirus. b. Second, "when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." 1) When dreams finally come true, there is life and joy. 2) How happy will everyone be when this illness is over! 3. These 2 lessons are illustrated in the Psalms. a. Psalm 137 illustrates the first lesson. b. Psalm 126 illustrates the second lesson. 4. True hope will help us make the transition from a state of disappointment to a state of joy.
I. PSALM 137 ILLUSTRATES THE FIRST LESSON
A. This Psalm was written while the Jews were in captivity in Babylon. B. We learn from vs.1-4 that the captivity was a trying time for the Jews. 1. According to vs.1-2, the Jews were unable to praise God. a. They had assembled "by the rivers of Babylon" [perhaps for worship]. b. Their memories of Zion caused them to sit down and cry. c. They placed their harps on the willows. d. To further show how the captivity was such a trying time, . . . 2. The Babylonians insulted the Jews (vs.3-4). a. They wanted the Jews to sing "one of the songs of Zion" to them. b. How could the Jews sing songs of praise under these circumstances? 3. To survive this difficult period [70 years -- Jeremiah 29:10] the Jews had to maintain their hope of returning to their homeland. 4. Notice the change that takes place at this point. C. Vs.5-9 show us how maintaining their hope sustained the Jews. 1. We learn from vs.5-6 that the Jews remembered Jerusalem. a. They knew from the writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah that the captivity would not last forever -- they would eventually return to their homeland. b. They did not want to forget Jerusalem while they were in captivity. 2. We also learn from vs.7-9 that the Jews were confident that God would take vengeance on their enemies. a. (vs.7) They asked God to remember the deeds of "the children of Edom." b. (vs.8-9) They expressed their confidence that Babylon would eventually be destroyed.
II. PSALM 126 ILLUSTRATES THE SECOND LESSON
A. In vs.1-3 the Jews reflected upon their release from captivity. 1. The time element is revealed in vs.1a -- "when the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion." 2. Notice how the Jews felt at this point. a. (vs.1b) "We were like them that dream." b. (vs.2) They laughed, and they sang. c. (vs.3b) They were glad. 3. God was praised for what He had done. a. (vs.3a) The Jews said, "The Lord hath done great things for us." b. (vs.2c) The heathens said, "The Lord hath done great things for them." 4. God had sustained the Jews until the captivity was over, and they praised Him for His greatness. 5. The need for maintaining their hope was not over for the Jews. B. In vs.4-6 the Jews made an additional request of God. 1. The request is in vs.4a -- "Turn again our captivity, O Lord." a. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem, they found devastation, the land needed to be planted, and the land needed rain. b. (vs.4b) They asked God to return their captivity "as the streams in the south." c. After making this request, . . . 2. (vs.5-6) The Jews expected to rejoice again. a. They might have to sow in tears (vs.5a, 6a). b. However, they were confident they would reap in joy (vs.5b, 6b). 3. As they asked God to bless their land, they were confident He would do so. 4. It certainly appears that the Jews had learned to appreciate the value of maintaining their hope.
1. These 2 Psalms illustrate the lessons that Solomon taught in Proverbs 13:12. 2. Let us remember the principles we have covered as: a. we wait for the virus to end b. we wait for heaven to become a reality (Romans 8:18-25).