Background for Ps 137: In exile for 70 years…
- They don’t like where they are
- Forcefully relocated
- Convinced best years are over
- No end in sight
- Teased, goaded “sing us one of your Zion songs”
Ps 137: A Psalm of Angry Lament
The Bible shows anger as an Emotion deeply connected to the human experience.
- Only took 4 chapters of the Bible to show up.
- First story of Anger in the Bible—Genesis 4:3-7
- “Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you but you must rule over it.”
The Bible’s Key Thought on Anger: There is a time to get angry, but the time to stay angry is short
- Eph 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil
There is a time to get angry
- Good anger—Righteous anger—even God gets angry.
- It is possible to be angry and NOT sin!
- Jesus in Mark 3:5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored
The Time to stay angry is short
- Eph 4:26 Don’t Let the sun go down on your anger...don’t give the devil a foothold
- “Anger is the moral equivalent to biological adrenaline. It is good and healthy to experience periodic secretions of adrenaline in reaction to dangerous situations. But a steady flow would damage the heart. So with anger. Its has damaged many hearts because it was not put away, but nurtured again and again into a life destroying grudge.” John Piper
Ps 137 Offers 3 Pieces of Advice on how to Put Anger Out
1. PRAY OUT your Fury before Acting out your Fury
2. STEP BACK to allow God to vindicate and settle accounts better than you could.
- Rom 12:19 NLT Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,“I will take revenge, I will pay them back,” says the Lord
3. EMBRACE THE HOPE that God’s Power for Good is greater than any evil, injustice, or hardship we experience.
- Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.