And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
On this earth believers are strangers and pilgrims. Abraham hoped in God. God told Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country…unto a land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). Abraham left his homeland, Ur of the Chaldees, and went out. He did not know where he was going. Abraham’s forefathers served other gods. God took Abraham, and He trusted in the true and living God. God led him to Canaan, the promised land. He possessed no land, but dwelt in tents. He confessed he was a starnger and a pilgrim.
David felt like a stranger and a pilgrim when King Saul sought to kill him. However, he knew God had chosen him as Saul’s successor. Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan, though the king’s son, knew God had appointed David as the next king. He helped protect him from his father.
David lived in exile after the people crowned him king of Judah. His own son, Absalom usurped the throne. King David became a fugitive and a sojourner. Tears of sorrow ran down his cheeks when Absalom died. Later, when Sheba set up himself as king, David said, “Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom” (2 Sam. 20:6). David sent an army after Sheba and a woman saved the day.
God called David “a man after my own heart.” David sinned and suffered for it. Why did God speak this of him? He loved the Lord and trusted Him. The psalms of David attest this.
David in all his problems hoped in the Lord, and waited for Him. As human beings, we get impatient at times. “Wait” is not our favorite word. In Hebrews 10:36 God reminds us we need patience. “Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (Heb. 10:36). He uses our trials to teach us this virtue. However, we often scoff and complain instead. Our attitude is, “I want it now.” The godly learn to wait upon God’s timing. His timing is always perfect.
David ended Psalm 39 with these words: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were” (Psa. 39:12). He knew that one day he would go to Heaven to be with God.
God says to believers today, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11).
A sojourner is a temporary resident. We are temporary residents on this earth. Those who trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour, the children of God look forward to the hope of eternal life in Heaven. On the other hand, those who reject Him in this life will receive a permanent residence in Hell, a place of everlasting fire, torment, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
In the Bible foreigners are called strangers. As believers in the true and living God, we have a dual citizenship. We are born as citizens of a country on earth; God says, “Our conversation is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). In other words we are “citizens of heaven.” This behooves us to walk as such. On this earth we are strangers. People of the world do not understand us because, though we dwell on this earth, we do not belong to this world.
The word, pilgrim, means we are only temporary residents on this earth. If we know Jesus, we will one day take up permanent residence in Heaven. Oh, what a joy that will be when our Jesus we shall see!
Are you mindful of the fact that earth is only a temporary home? Have you made the preparations for Heaven? Do you hope for His coming? Do you live as a stranger and a pilgrim on this earth?
Lynn’s website tells more about herself and her book. The URL is www.writingfrommyheart.com.