“Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth. If I do not remember you. If I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.”
In order to understand this verse we’ve got to make sure we get the context. This Psalm, Psalm 137, is a Psalm of lament. It’s talking about how when God’s people were exiles in Babylon and separated from Jerusalem, separated from the temple where the glory of God dwelled among His people. Separated from the land that God had promised to them, that they had dwelled in for all those years. When they are in this state of separation and sorrow and longing, the prayer here in Psalm 137 is, “God, don’t let me forget what joy it was to be in Your presence. Don’t let me forget what joy it was to be walking in obedience to You in the land where You had provided. Because God’s people had disobeyed Him and sinned against Him. That’s why they were driven into exile.”
Lord, help us to live today and every day realizing that our citizenship is in heaven.
The Psalmist is praying here, “I let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,” not even be able to talk if I forget, if I do not remember You. If I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. Basically the Psalmist is saying, “here in Babylon help me not to get so caught up in all the stuff around me in this foreign land that I forget to long for You, God, and for Your presence and for the joy of obedience to You and the land that You’ve called Your people to.” Obviously you and I are not in the same situation, same context, but there are so many parallels here that are really helpful because, well think about it.
We have, what the Bible tells us in Philippians chapter 3, verse 20 we have a citizenship in heaven with God. Where we will one day be with Him, perfectly, completely, wonderfully in His presence. We long for this. Why? Paul said two chapters before that, “to live as Christ and to die is gain. It’s better by far to be with Christ.” He longs for that fellowship with God. That he knows he doesn’t have it yet. He’s a citizen on this earth. He’s longing to be with God in a good and a healthy way. He’s wanting to live as a citizen on this earth. Not forgetting, but remembering where his true citizenship belongs. That’s one parallel. That’s a pretty powerful parallel. For you and I to live today, this week, realizing, don’t forget, in Christ all who are in Christ, you’re my citizenship is in heaven.
Our citizenship is somewhere else. Yes, we are earthly citizens. We are citizens of countries here on this earth and we want to be responsible and good and God glorifying citizens on earth. We will only be that when our eyes are fixed on our citizenship to come. When we don’t forget, we’re not living for this world. We’re living for another world. Don’t forget that we’re not living to enjoy and give ourselves to all the stuff this world offers us.
We’ve been created for enjoyment in some things, someone far greater. We don’t store up treasures for ourself on earth, Jesus says, where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. We store it for ourselves, treasures where? In heaven where moth and rust do not destroy where thieves do not break in and steal for where your treasure is, Jesus says, there your heart will be also. Make sure, like the Psalmist was saying in Psalm 137, I don’t want to forget to make sure my heart is back where You dwell and where I can live in obedience to You and enjoy the land that You’ve promise to us and given to us.
Let’s not forget today to live with a heart that is set on our citizenship in heaven. We are storing up treasures there. God help us, we pray to live with an eternal perspective. Help us to remember today, that this world is not our home. That all the shiny, attractive things that this world offers to us. Pursuits, pleasures, possessions, help us not forget, they don’t compare with the future glory that will be revealed in us. With the eternal treasure that we’re living for. Just like you said, Jesus, to that rich young man. When you told him to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, come follow You because he could experience treasure that would never ever end. God help us to live for treasure that will never, ever end. Help us to use our resources on this earth like we are citizens of heaven, storing up treasure there not here. May it be like, let our tongues stick to the roof of our mouths if we do not remember where our citizenship is. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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