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Why are God’s people strangers on earth? (Psalm 119:19)

19 
I am a stranger on earth;
    do not hide your commands from me.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 20 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
By my understanding, the Hebrew word translated as "stranger" in the verse cited in the question could also be expressed as "sojourner" (as multiple translations of the verse on the biblehub.com website render it), which to me would be related to the idea of the transitory nature of life, and the limited period of time that even the longest-lived person would exist on earth in comparison to eternity (and particularly the eternal state of the redeemed in God's presence, which would be the true, everlasting home toward which they should strive).

September 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
We are aliens and foreigners and strangers on this earth because our citizenship is in heaven. We live in this world but we are not of this world, because heaven is our home. Consider the following passages that speak to this concept and issue.

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
(Philippians 3:17-22)

Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
(Ephesians 2:12-13)

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
(Hebrews 11:9-10)

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
(Hebrews 11:13-16)

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
(1 Peter 1:17)

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
(1 Peter 2:11-12)

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:18-19)

If we love our lives in the culture of this world we cannot love God. Why? Because the culture of this world is controlled by our enemy Satan who is opposed to everything that God wants to do on planet earth. If we truly love God we must be opposed to what the culture is doing to people’s lives. We need to live as aliens, foreigners and strangers so we don’t get enticed by this world and trapped into adopting its culture. This is the same trap the Israelites fell into in the Promised Land. They adopted the culture of their neighbouring nations and drifted away from faithfulness to God. That’s the warning we need to heed.

September 21 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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