In Psalm 119:19-20 the psalmist makes some very striking statements, and they all revolve around the truth which he states, namely, that he is a stranger in the earth. That does not simply mean that others here below do not understand him. That is true. But basically that he is a pilgrim and stranger here below means that his citizenship is in heaven, and that he wants to be loyal to his heavenly King. Taking that into consideration we can understand his striking statements such as, "Hide not Thy commandments from me," and "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times" Psalm 119:19, 20.
Can you honestly say that? In the measure that you can, you have assurance that your citizenship is in heaven. Those whose citizenship is only here below do not even want to read God's law, and they consider those who break the first table of it as pretty nice, decent, lovable people. Those who break the second table they try to defend. You will never hear them singing our versification — unless it is because they like the music — which solemnly declares:
A pilgrim in the earth am I,
Thy will to me reveal;
To know Thy truth my spirit yearns,
Consumed by ardent zeal.
The question is whether we can sincerely sing that. How often do you try to defend yourself in a violation of God's law'? How many neighbors and people with whom you work see you as one with citizenship in heaven'? And as one whose soul breaketh with a longing to be pleasing at all times to the King of that Kingdom of Heaven? Are you really a stranger in the earth, or does your speech and conduct mark you to all who see you, as one who is not a spiritual stranger to them?
Get down on your knees, as the psalmist did, and pray that God will not hide His commandments from you, that is, that He will reveal to you each step of the way in what direction you should go to please Him, and what words to speak that His glory may shine forth through you. Do that the first thing in the morning, so you know how to walk. Before you retire at night ask Him to show you your sins that you may confess them.
Read: Matthew 5:1-20
Psalter versification: #323:2
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
Judges 9:22-57; Judges 10:1-18
Quote for Reflection:
“Why, then, are we justified by faith? Because by faith we grasp Christ's righteousness, by which alone we are reconciled to God. Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time grasping sanctification also. For he "is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption" [I Cor. 1:30]. Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, 16.1
- Date: 29-April