STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
21 Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses. 22 Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, 'I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.' Exodus 2:22
Have any of you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? In coming back to my home town where I grew up many years ago, I can feel out-of-place, or even a stranger to many.
This can also even happen when we attempt to rejoin or meet-up with family members. Since we are now mobile and our roots aren’t adhered to any one place, one has more freedom, but those who are settled and are part of a community, may well not understand.
I am reminded by the words of Jesus:
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Matt. 28
His earthly home was certainly ever-changing, but His true home was in union with His Father. We are all part of a community of some sort. We all come from a family home where we grew up and eventually left to begin a life of our own. Children are born out of the new homes that are formed, and the cycle of life continues.
The children of Israel traveled for forty years in the wilderness, eating manna that fell from heaven. Eventually they crossed over the river Jordan as the waters receded, and set up stones in remembrance of what the Lord God had done for them. The walls of Jericho fell and they came into the land of their possession. But our Promised Land reaches territories that are beyond the scope of this world.
We are told that the patriarchs and prophets looked unto the city whose walls were everlasting. They died not having realized the fulfillment of those things. But now those promises are fulfilled through the life and sacrifice that the Son of God came to do for us. We now have inherited those things that those in the distant past could only hope for.
This world is not our home as we should know; we are but sojourners traveling through the years and the miles from place to place on this earth. This is in actuality what my wife and I have been doing over the last few months. And yet in the physical sense, this really does represent the spiritual context of finding an eternal home where we can finally lay our heads and rest.
The Son of God most likely had a rock and a blanket of some sort, to sleep upon. His bed was many times the very earth upon which He walked. I’m certain that there were times when others offered him and his disciples, a place to sleep. Humble homes were opened up as a place of refuge for food, drink, and lodging.
But we are also told that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Those who have gone before us have helped pave the way in demonstrating their great faith in God. They believed in spite of great circumstances through famine, sword, pestilence, and loss. And yet we now have a better way through God’s Son. We are now given the Holy Spirit which resides within us, who reminds us of what was spoken, and also speaks of that which is to come.
So in essence, we are all in community surrounded by those who came before us, along with those who are now in our midst. Even though one may not reside in any one given place, our community is that of the Spirit.