“For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.” (1 Chronicles 29:15)
All of God’s people, whether ancient Israelites or latter-day Christians, need to recognize that we are mere “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). This world is not our home, as the old gospel song puts it, and we must not let our roots get down too deep in this materialistic world.
The words of our text are in David’s last recorded prayer before his death. He was a great king and very wealthy in material things, but he still recognized that his real home was not in the earthly Jerusalem, but in heaven.
So should we. The apostle Paul wrote, “For our conversation |the Greek word here literally means ‘citizenship’| is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). We are merely serving in this world as “ambassadors for Christ,” and our business here, representing the court of heaven, is to urge men, “in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Why should we spend so much time and money in beautifying a home on earth when Christ has gone to prepare a mansion for us in heaven (John 14:2)? Remember Abraham, who by faith “sojourned . . . in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob” (Hebrews 11:9). “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16).
Also remember Paul who had “no certain dwellingplace” (1 Corinthians 4:11), not to mention the Lord Jesus Himself who had “not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). We do well, therefore, to “pass the time of |our| sojourning here in fear” (1 Peter 1:17)–that is, reverential fear of God (never fear of man), as good citizens of our heavenly country. HMM