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  • East Martin CRC

Strangers from Paradise

Psalm 119:17-24

Verses 19-20 I am a stranger on earth; do not hide Your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing for Your laws at all times.

The psalmist goes from praying to know the wonderful depths of the law to seeing the truth of his position. A position we should accept as our own.

The concept of being a stranger to this world is obviously not new but what does it mean and why should it be something we hold dear as Christians? When we see the truth of who we are in Christ, were can't see this world as home because we have our sights set much higher. Our hearts will see the truth of where we belong as we see our position in the Kingdom of God.

To see ourselves as strangers in this world is to understand that this isn't the world that should hold our goals, dreams and hearts. Of course that means that we also understand that things of this world aren't eternal. They will pass away but if our focus is on our King's domain we will be looking to the things that are eternal. Things such as God's kingdom, His people and His mission.

The psalmist sees the connection between our understanding our citizenship and the desire to grasp the commands. If we truly see ourselves as a citizen of heaven then we will desire to be intimately aware of laws of the Kingdom. We will want to live in the way that pleases our King. No matter what those around us in this world thinks of our lives.

While we understand our need for understanding the law we don't often find ourselves living lives that are consumed with longings for the law. In fact, I'm not sure many of us could say we have ever longed for a law. To have a passion about the law is seen as odd and sadly even chided in some circles – Christian and non-Christian alike – but the psalmist understood how blessed we could be by loving the law as he saw it a sign of the level of love had for the Father.

He adds that this consuming passion is not a part-time longing. He says he longs for the law at all times. That means loving it when we know we can follow it and loving it when it cuts us to the core with conviction. Those times of conviction are the pure signs of His love after all. He only corrects those He loves.

Making It Personal

How do you view this world? What would you say is your level of love for the law? What is something His law has been convicting you of?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven? Does following the law show how much you love Jesus? What command of Jesus do you need to learn to like?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for preparing a new world for us. Give us a passion for your Word and law that draws is closer to You and to bring the people You have called us to be. In Jesus' name, amen.

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