STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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         Every real Christian must make a difficult but rewarding decision. He or she must leave home and all that is familiar in order to enter the kingdom of the Lord.

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         This world is not my home I’m just a passing through

         My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue       

         The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

         And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore [1]

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         And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22 KJV]

         Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses. Moses named his son after his current experience. He had arrived in a new land about a year before and was still trying to find his way. This was a man used to the high life and lofty standing of being the adopted grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He went from prince to pauper in a fortnight and had to flee Egypt with his life on the line.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

         Never having time to catch his breath, he headed east across the blistering sands of Sinai and kept traveling onward toward the rising sun in his own early version of the Texan’s runaway scrape. “What happened to me?” he thought. A fleeing fugitive, sottish with fear and disillusionment, on the run from Egyptian justice, he had killed a man in a fierce fury after seeing a Hebrew kinsman being beaten up without mercy.

         One may wonder what God saw in an avenging man slayer but what He did see was a man who had great pride in his heritage. God saw him as a man who would go to bat for his people. But at that time, with sweat pouring and fright raging, Moses looked like anything but a hero.

THEN CAME MOSES

         He came into the land of Midian. These were distant relatives of his ancestor Abraham. Abraham was the first stranger in a strange land:

         “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you… [Genesis 23:4]  

         Girls were trying to water their flocks but the other shepherds kept running them off. In reading the historical text we find that this was an everyday occurrence. It always took these sisters much time to gain access to the well because of the others who were intent on hindering them. Sound familiar?

         And suddenly Moses was fighting for justice again. This was a powerful man, a man who demanded respect. He saw to it that the girl’s flock got their water and one can picture the other shepherds looking on from a distance knowing that there was something about the new stranger, that one better not mess with him, that one could see by that look in his eye that he meant business.

         The sisters went home and told their dad. Their dad jumped their case. “What is wrong with you! Go find him and bring him to dinner!” This began an entirely new chapter in the life of Moses. He married one of those sisters and when his son was born he still felt like a stranger in a strange land after a very strange turn of events. But regardless of the desert remoteness, his home a million miles away, and thoughts of palace living gone forever, the blessings kept flowing. The Lord had a plan.

         Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God… [Exodus 2:23] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on May 27, 2017, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Hi RJ, I was just reading and studying Exodus again yesterday! You’re absolutely right, we all are in a strange land and sojourners. I couldn’t help being made aware of the amount of time that went by while God was getting the servant He chose ready to move forward. And then there are the objections of Moses. Poor speaker etc. But Moses did eventually obey and God did a mighty work. All the key players, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob then Moses and the framework of God’s plan is written down and starts to unfold. Practised previously but nor formalized and expanded upon. Passover – no broken bones in the sacrifice etc. Amazing. I hope we get to see all this when we get to heaven, I so want to see it all! Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Bruce. Great comment! Once again I am prompted to think of the frame of reference of the real Christian. The early believers were all “drawn out of water” or born from the River of Life. They were each immersed in living water calling on the Name of Jesus, their new Savior and Master, and filled with the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. They were still in the world but no longer of the world. Old things had passed away. All things had become new. They had quickly become sojourners and strangers in a strange land that had previously been their homeland. The old world was gone. They were no longer vested in it. Happiness was Egypt in their rearview mirror.

      Blessings to you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. There is hope for us all since Moses began his greatest work for God at 80! God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jacky. The Lord essentially prepared Moses using the first two-thirds of his life for the last third of his life. I remember finding this truth, in that the greater the work and the more challenging and difficult it will be, the more preparation it will require. It would be good if the standard church minister took notice.

      Blessings to you!

      Like

  3. Thank you as always. We are certainly “foreigners and strangers” here. A tough challenge to live out, though. But as a generation of believers we will be taught, we will learn one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gary. YES. The tougher challenge is uniting all the mature ones, which is now taking place. The Lord will see to our education based on our condition of heart and willingness to excel. Sometimes there are some hard lessons but quite valuable nonetheless. And sometimes our sojourn here is solitary as well, as it was with all the patriarchs and saints of old.

      Be Blessed.

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  4. When enough is enough we rise up and take what Christ Jesus offers all: rest in Him, His easy, light yoke and learn from Him how to live in the unknown land with the Holy, Righteous One we know! We let Holy Spirit comfort us in this uncomfortable world; deliver us from the dominion of darkness and lead us into the kingdom of the Beloved Son; no longer listening to the voice of the world’s wisdom that is “devilish” and unspiritual (James 3:15) or the voices of religious spirits that want to keep us in bondage. Thy Will be done Father God on earth as it is in heaven. Spirit of Truth lead us all into your Truth! Father pour your Spirit upon all flesh! Thank you Abba! Father!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This tired old world surely is not my permanent home. Just passing through. This truth means more to me with every day that passes. This is temporary. Thank God.

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    • Thanks Linda. You are so appreciated. I think, regarding life and our walk with the Lord, the best outcome we can have as we travel further from our youth, is to know we gave it our all and left it all on the field. There is something greatly satisfying and richly rewarding to know we are using it all up, that the Lord blessed us and we worked, and we gave, and we reach a point where we know we have done our best. We also know, of course, that the Lord has forgiven us and helped us, and blessed us with much grace and favor, and strengthened us. The body sometimes says, “No more…” But our spirit says “What? I’ve just started! There is work to do…”

      The Word clearly states that some will “obtain a better resurrection.” These are the great spiritual fighters who fight on after great betrayals and attacks and insist on staying upon the field of battle. They know they will not live in this place forever and certainly don’t want to but also know there remains work to be done.

      I always think of that scene from the movie “Jaws” when those guys were showing off their scars and telling their stories about how they got them. They were stories of victory. They came close but lived on. I think we will be doing this to some degree, maybe, in heaven. Not sure. But whatever, I think the greatest victory after getting there is knowing we gave it our all and being satisfied that we honored the Lord and did our best. He made a way for us that would have been impossible otherwise.

      Until then, we will all keep fighting, and working, and achieving, and helping others, and doing our best here, in this temporary place, where we are strangers in a strange land, and look forward to getting home, in the late evening, cold and spent, with yellow light shining in the cabin off in the distance, and a meal cooking on the stove.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We are definitely strangers but as believers we are strangers with a difference.

    God bless you.

    Like

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