Travel to a foreign land whose language you do not. understand, and whose people do not understand one word of your language, and you will find yourself in great difficulty. Try to order a meal in a restaurant whose menu you cannot read, and whose waiter or waitress cannot under stand one word you say. Leave your hotel to go sightseeing and get lost on a cloudy day, when you cannot tell what is east or west, north and south, because there are no shadows. All the signs say nothing to you, and not a person can tell you your way back to the hotel. You are a stranger to the natives of that land.
Well we who are born again and thus have our citizenship in heaven are strangers here below to the unbelievers among whom we live. Their philosophers, educators, psychiatrists cannot understand and help us. They cannot understand why we are so eager to know God's law and judgments. To them the psalmist is silly, when in Psalm 119:19,20 he writes, ''I am a stranger in the earth: hide not Thy commandments from me. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times." Never, no never, would they sing:
A pilgrim on the earth am I,
Thy will to me reveal;
To know Thy truth my spirit yearns,
Consumed with ardent zeal.
But God, Who in Christ is our King, can set us straight. That is why the psalmist had prayed in verse 19, "Hide not Thy commandments from me,'' and in verse 18, ''Open mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law." And if your soul "breaketh for the longing that it hath'' unto God's judgments, you will be a stranger and make that your prayer.
Come, let us examine ourselves and ask whether our unbelieving neighbor and fellow worker see us as strangers. Let us pray for more of that enthusiasm to know what pleases God and what He judges to be good. Let us pray for ''ardent zeal" to serve Him as our glorious King.
Quote for Reflection:
John Calvin on Amos 9:11-15: "Here the Prophet describes the felicity which shall be under the reign of Christ: and we know that whenever the Prophets set forth promises of a happy and prosperous state to God’s people, they adopt metaphorical expressions, and say, that abundance of all good things shall flow, that there shall be the most fruitful produce, that provisions shall be bountifully supplied; for they accommodated their mode of speaking to the notions of that ancient people; it is therefore no wonder, if they sometimes speak to them as to children. At the same time, the Spirit under these figurative expressions declares, that the kingdom of Christshall in every way be happy and blessed, or that the Church of God, which means the same things, shall be blessed, when Christ shall begin to reign."
- Date: 17-May