This Momentary Home (Psalm 119:17-20)

Psalm 119:17-20

17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

I have a confession to make. I can’t stand country music. I know in the South it is a punishable offense to not like country music but 98% of country music I can’t stand. I love Johnny Cash, but then again, is there anyone that could actually dislike the Man in Black? The only other country singer that I really enjoy is a guy named Chris Stapleton. Stapleton has a song called Traveler and this is how the chorus goes, “I’m just a traveler on this earth sure as my heart’s behind the pocket of my shirt. I’ll just keep rolling till I’m in the dirt. ‘Cause I’m a traveler, oh, I’m a traveler. I couldn’t tell you honey, I don’t know, where I’m going but I’ve got to go. ‘Cause every turn reveals some other road and I’m a traveler, oh, I’m a traveler.” Hopefully you were able to see the connection between Psalm 119:19-20 and what Stapleton is singing. In the song, we see a man that realizes that life is only temporary. We’re here one day and gone tomorrow. If life is only temporary, if this is all that there is in life, then what hope do we have for the future? It would be so discouraging to live 80 years with uncertainty. To say, “I’m a traveler on this earth, but after this, I don’t know what’s next” is a disappointing thing. Stapleton doesn’t seem to have the same hope for the future that the Christian has. As the Psalmist acknowledges that he is a sojourner (or a traveler) on the Earth, he seems to not be in despair over that knowledge. But why would he feel this way? Where does his hope come from? It comes from the One who deals bountifully in verse 17. The Psalmist is so dependent on God’s grace for life. He knows where his hope comes from. The Psalmist would agree with what Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.” The Psalmist knows that his Earthly life is temporary. He sees that he is traveling between this world and the next. He has his hope set not on the security of this present world, or the existence of another world, but in the goodness of the One who holds both worlds in the palm of His hands. I think that it can be easy for Christians to lose the hope that they have in God’s future grace. We sometimes think that this world is the only home that we have. We forget that Christ has returned to the Father to make a place for us. In Hebrews 11, the author recounts the faith of many Old Testament saints. Like us, they spent their years traveling from one place to the next. Many never fully received the promises that the Lord made to them in the course of their lives. Abraham never saw his descendants become a mighty nation, Jacob died in Egypt, Moses never made it to the promised land. Does this mean that God is unfaithful in His promises? Absolutely not! What God had prepared for them was substantially better than they could imagine. Hebrews 11:13-16 is an encouraging reminder for our time on this planet. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.” It’s easy to be impressed by a candle if you’ve never seen the sun. These men of faith had their eyes set on the sun, on a promise that was far greater than they imagined. Dear Christian, do you know where your home is? Do you know that you have a city prepared for you by the Father? It’s hard to be excited for an eternity in Heaven, if we think that it’s going to be just like our lives are now. We have very few details on what to expect when we get to Heaven, but we know that it is beyond what the human language can describe. Only 4 people in all of Scripture get a glimpse of Heaven, and they give very few details of all that they saw (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul, and John.” But even with the few details that they provide, we know it will be incredible. We will be changed and we will be in the presence of Christ Almighty. That sounds greater to me than all the pleasures that this world could offer. We can rejoice in knowing that we are just passing through, on our way to the Promised Land.