Homeland Heavenward

“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

Judgment to Restoration

Exodus 21:22-23:13; Psalm 29; Proverbs 7:6-23; Matthew 24:1-28


“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” -Romans 8:22-23

Along with the Ten Commandments, God instituted a standard of living among the Israelites. Like today, we’ve been given commands for how to act with integrity toward each other and abstain from spiritual adultery. “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips” (Exodus 23:13). God alone is to be worshipped.

It’s interesting to observe the contrast in God’s will for us versus the natural bent we have toward sin. Moses wrote down the Lord’s system of order and peace. In the end, a life outside His will leads not only to our own destruction but the breakdown of society. Where moral corruption exists, divine judgement follows. Deception of false Christs, blind leaders, wars, famine, abortion, earthquakes, open hostility and persecution are the norm- for now. Jesus Christ rules and will judge everything.


One day His final judgment will undo the tangled knot of sorrow. Sin does not triumph. The world and the relationships God had in mind for us in Eden will be made true again. Jesus has already conquered death, yet we wait in the “already and not yet” season as God fulfills future promises. In the meantime, the Bible speaks of our weariness and groaning, along with creation, for everything to be made right because deep down we know it isn’t supposed to be this way. We see the devastation sin has done to the world and our lives. Take heart because this is not the end of our Story. Believers look forward to the most wonderful Day when we receive our resurrected bodies no longer tainted by sickness, sin or death. As we live in the middle of the Fall, between Genesis 3 and Revelation 21, God promises to “[give] strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). Jesus will restore, making all things new, but first God must refine, judging the dross. If you are in Christ, the Lord is on your side. Who can be against you?


Grace upon grace,