I Am A Stranger in the Earth
I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul is crushed with longing
After Your ordinances at all times.
Psalm 119:19-20 (NASB '95)
-We are strangers here.
-We should be longing for God's word
Strangers. If you are a stranger you may feel out of place, you are unfamiliar with your surroundings and with the people around you. A stanger may not feel like they fit in. That is a good start for what I believe the psalmist is conveying here. I have been exploring a new Bible translation for my personal use- The English Standard Version (ESV). It is bing used pretty widely by people who travel in the reformed church circles to which I am drawn. It translates the word stranger to sojourner. A sojourner is one who resides breifly in a place. It is a temporary situation. My Hebrew dictionary uses the word foreigner as well as a translation for the word stranger found in this Psalm. I think all of these words combined give a very good picture of our place in this earth. The time we spend in these bodies here on earth is brief, we do not really belong here, we are not really a part of the scenery. There is something about us that does not quite fit in, and that something is Christ in us. There Psalmist recognies that there is more to this life than what we can see in the here and now. We have an eternal hope if we belong to Christ. And that makes all the difference in how we approach the time we spend here on earth.
The only way for the Christian to live life well here on earth is to follow God's commands. To live according to His Words.
What a picture the phrase "crushed with longing" paints. The ESV renders it: My soul is consumed with longing. Am I crushed? Am I consumed? Just how much do I long for God's Word? Enough to make it my daily priority? Do I really see how important it is?
If I am honest I have to admit that these verses cut to my core. They challenge me examine that which I value, to get my priorities straight. They challenge me to live this day, not so much in the here and now, but with an eye towards my eternal reward. This world will pass away and all that is a part of it, but the one who does the will of God will live forever. (1 John 2:17)
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
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I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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