“Remember, O LORD…”
~ Psalm 137:7a
In 586BC King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem, complete with the temple and city wall; taking captive the people of Judah to the land of Babylon. This psalm was written during that time in exile, as the people mourned and lamented and began to turn to God in repentance.
This psalm is a cry for justice, made to the God of Justice. The final verse of this psalm is shocking to say the least, but nonetheless uses language that God himself used through the mouths of the prophets (Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 10:14; Nahum 3:10), about what would happen to those whom he used to bring discipline upon Israel/Judah for their unfaithfulness.
We should guard our hearts in how we think about and ask for God to enact his justice. It is his prerogative and his alone (Romans 12:19). Like Jesus who was reviled yet did not revile in return, we must entrust ourselves to God who himself will judge justly in his way, in his time, by his authority (1 Peter 2:23). God is sovereign in both his election to salvation and in his condemnation (Romans 9:13-18). God sees all and will act justly to both the righteous and the evil (Ps. 34:15-22).