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June 3, 1993

The Good Old Days

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By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. PSALM 137:1
Have you ever done anything that you regret? Have you ever been in less-than-desirable circumstances and pined for days gone by? It is hard for us to relate to the idea of being captured by a foreign country and living in exile. But the concepts of regret and longing are familiar to everyone.
In this psalm we find the psalmist remembering Zion—God’s city, Jerusalem— with great longing and emotional outpouring. But it is too late. Once again, the wayward affections of Israel have resulted in national catastrophe and defeat. Now God’s chosen people find themselves in a strange and foreign land, forced to eat foreign food and smell the incense offered to foreign gods. They’re wed to the mistress they found so desirable, but they’re also fully realizing the devastation this has wrought upon their families, their children, and their inheritance.
It is unlikely that you will ever make choices that will so radically affect those around you, let alone an entire nation. But every day, in small and significant ways, you are faced with the opportunity to choose to be faithful. How are you doing? What are the affections of your heart? What is your ambition tied to? What do you desire? What are you working toward? The answers to these questions will have serious outcomes in your life. They need to be considered.
Work offers unlimited chances to come face to face with our own shortcomings and character faults. It pulls at our affections, our desires, and our ambitions. But work also offers us a chance to prove our faith, to test our convictions. There may be no better place to walk out our relationship with God or to experience Him.
Let’s live these days with our hearts, minds, and strength directed toward Him. Let’s live faithfully to the One Who calls us His bride, the One Who has covenanted with us to redeem us, the One Who has made us beautiful. Let’s live and work faithfully to Him and avoid the pain and regret of exile.

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