Living As A Sojourner

Ex. 2:22 - She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”

After his wife gave birth to their first son, Moses named his oldest son "Sojourner". Moses had been raised in the home of the Israelite's oppressors, rejected by his own people and subsequently fled and found refuge in the foreign land of Midian. He went from a life of royal luxury in a place familiar to him, to a life in a foreign land specializing in middle eastern animal husbandry (he became a shepherd). Apparently to some degree he still felt like an outsider when his first son was born, which is what inspired Gershom's name.

Moses was not alone in considering himself a traveler in a foreign land. His forefather, Jacob, considered his entire life as one constant transition. In Gen. 47:9 Jacob described his 130 years as "the years of my sojourning" even though he had lived in certain locations for decades. Jacob even described his ancestors' lives as "the days of their sojourning".

All of these men were living in the tension of being content with their physical circumstances while anticipating the fulfillment of God's promises. That same concept is true for us as Christians. Paul told the saints in Philippi that even though they physically lived in the Roman Empire, their true citizenship was in heaven (Phil. 3:20). The Hebrew writer explained that all these OT saints were looking forward to a city whose designer and builder is God (Heb. 11:10), a heavenly country prepared for them by God (Heb. 11:16), a place they waited to receive with those who are in Christ (Heb. 11:39-40).

How do you view your life here on earth? Have you found the home that God has prepared for us in Christ? Where is your citizenship? Have you made your home and primary focus here on earth, or is your home and primary focus with the Son of God? Moses knew he was "just a passing through", what about you?

Jeremy Dehut

(Originally posted 2/3/13. Edited 8/4/15)