Question: Psalm:137:9 is a verse which has bothered me for years: “Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” How can Christians oppose abortion, yet believe in a God who encouraged Israel to slaughter infants and to rejoice in doing it?! I’ve had non-Christians throw this verse at me and I can’t give them a good answer.
Response: I, too, puzzled over this verse for years. Then one day I realized what should have been obvious: it was not God’s people who committed this horrible atrocity. Israel never conquered Babylon. It was the Medes and Persians who did so. The psalmist is not condoning such barbarous behavior. He is simply warning Babylon that she will be crushed by invaders—and that just as she rejoiced in destroying Jerusalem, so her conquerors will rejoice in destroying her, including her innocent infants.