BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON #2
Psalm 137:1 ¶ By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 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.
We come now to the last portion of this Psalm, wherein the grieving captives become spiritually involved with the purposes of the Lord God concerning Edom. For it must needs be that offenses come, partially in order for the judgment of God to fall upon them by whom those offenses came. Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
For afflictions come upon the believers both to further the strength of their righteousness, and for the filling up of the afflictions of Christ. Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
And as we shall see, the Edomites, who are the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob, not only refused to be of any aid to the Israelites as they were slaughtered by the Babylonians, but they actually also entered into exacting their own afflictions on them. And failing to help the Lord’s people when given the opportunity is an offense to the Lord! Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
We must be careful regarding opportunities to aid the poor. Proverbs 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
The Shepherd did not lose the sheep in order for the sheep just to be lost. The Shepherd lost the sheep in order for him to be found and never to be lost again! Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
It was the Shepherd that lost the sheep. And it is the Shepherd who gathers the sheep back into the fold. Jeremiah 31:9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
But there is a twofold work herein. There is the work of sheep recovery which assures the flock of the Shepherd’s love. And there is the allowing the enemies of the flock to become guilty of offending God’s “least of these.” 2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
The Lord God had even previously instructed Israel not to be harmful to these who are now part of their affliction! Deuteronomy 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: For the true believer is never to seek vengeance for himself. But as that 2 Peter 2:9 verse states, the Lord can take care of both the godly and the unjust.
Now let us look farther into Israel’s relation to Edom. The twenty-one verses of the single chapter Book of Obadiah concerns itself with nothing else. Obadiah 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. 2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. 6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! 8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?
And Genesis 36:1 also clearly tells us the Edom is Esau! Genesis 36:1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
And the Lord gave to his Prophet Obadiah the reasons for which Edom has now fallen into disfavor with God, and shall be utterly cut off. Obadiah 10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. 11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
So captive Israel in their bitterness of soul cried out to the Lord God to “Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem,”. It was a prayer not only prompted by the captives inner grief, but a prayer inspired by the Lord’s Spirit in the secret purposes of God! For the Lord remembers nation’s sins, and will not allow them to go unpunished. Consider these verses:
1 Samuel 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Hosea 7:1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without. 2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
The Lord Jesus Christ shall judge all nations. Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Take time to read these verses in the single chapter of the Book of Obadiah, wherein the Lord God lists his indictments against Edom for their crimes against Israel. For they took sinful advantage to smite Israel while God was punishing them with the rod of the Babylonians.
Obadiah 12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.
Obadiah 17 ¶ But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
21 And saviours (deliverers) shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.
Jeremiah writes: Lamentations 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. 22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.
Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye (Edom) be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. 49:7 Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished? 8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him. 9 If grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough. 10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he is not. 12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.
Both the Prophets Ezekiel and Malachi had much to say concerning God’s revenge upon Edom for her sin against Israel. Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Ezekiel 25:12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.
It is one thing for the Lord to chastise his people. But it is a far different matter for anyone else to think to enter into His parental corrections for their own personal reasons. Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Pastor Gene Breed