The Far Country

October 1, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

God is at home.  We are in the Far Country. – Meister Eckhart

Psalm 137 begins as the exiled Israelites are demanded to sing songs of joy by their captors.   The Israelites refuse.  They hang their harps on trees and ask:

How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?1

The entire video above is excellent, but Rich Mullins makes a particularly insightful comment around the minute mark when he asks, “what land have we ever been in that isn’t foreign?”

Are we really in that much different a place than those Israelites?  If so, how are we supposed to sing songs of joy?  I can see singing songs asking for deliverance.  I understand singing request for freedom.  But joy?  How on earth are we supposed to be joyful under these conditions?

The eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews includes a litany of saints who placed their trust in God.  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.   They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.  They were stoned and put to death by the sword.  Others were sawed in two.2

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. And they admitted that they were aliens 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.3

God is not ashamed to be called my God.  He has prepared a city for me.  Because of Jesus Christ, I’ve already been delivered and my present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in me.4 – These are my reasons for joy.

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Category: Musings

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