Never Give Up Hope
One might mistakenly assume that this psalm is only meaningful to the ancient Israelites. Frederick Douglass (1852) used a verse from Psalm 137 to denounce slavery. The verse - “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” — alludes to the alienation and harsh conditions endured by American slaves and was filled with significance and pathos to African Americans. It took a long time, but America now has a black man as president. Well, it took 2,000 years for the Israelites to return to the Promised Land after the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.C.E. The Second Temple was rebuilt under the reign of Darius by Zerubbabel about 520 B.C.E. The psalmists teach us to never give up hope and one day the world –based on moral and spiritual values –will be at peace.
The psalmist provides the solution when all hope appears lost—cry out to the Lord! He declares (Psalms 130:1): “A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice; let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas.”