“I am a stranger on earth; do not hide Your commands from me.” -Psalm 119:19
Like a foreigner in a strange land, we need guideposts- a map to direct our journey. We may learn the language, culture, and people of where we are but it should never cause us to forget our Homeland Heavenward. This is why the psalmist asks for God to keep His revealed truth near to him, lest he forget and become like a native. No, we must remain separate, set apart as God’s holy vessels. Assimilation is compromising. Just like the Israelites were commanded to not intermarry with foreigners who worshipped idols, we too must worship God alone. He commands it as the first and second commandments (Exodus 20:3-6).
When Ezra the priest read the Law of Moses before the people they wept. The Israelites had wandered far and needed a spiritual revival. This is the danger as strangers in a world that does not naturally worship their Creator. But God is faithful to teach His people and help them on their pilgrim journey. The Lord will seek the sheep which stray, but how much better to remain within the sheep pen remembering God’s good commands.
Grace upon grace,
Grow deeper: Nehemiah 8:1-12