| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 10 of 277 INDEX | |
However, until the journey ends there will be pitfalls, temptations and
enemies on the route, but very full guidance is given in the record of
Israel's typical wanderings in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:1 -12;
Christianity is essentially a Pilgrim Way
The name 'The Pilgrim Way' conjures up in the mind of those who know
the history and geography of England, the track still traceable, some 120
miles long, used by pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of
Thomas ... Becket, or the term calls to mind the Tales of Chaucer, and closer
still to the teaching of Scripture, the immortal story entitled Pilgrim's
Progress by John Bunyan, whose tomb is still to be seen in Bunhill Fields, a
few minutes from 'The Chapel of the Opened Book', a meeting house which we
believe would have appealed to that man of God. The Greek word 'pilgrim' is
parepidemos. It is a compound of demos 'people' (hence democracy), and the
prefixes para beside and epi upon. Epidemeo (Acts 2:10; 17:21) is translated
'strangers which were there' or as in the Revised Version 'sojourning there'.
The added para in the word translated 'pilgrim' suggests one who is 'beside'
but not actually a 'part' of the company among whom for a time his way may
lead him. He may, with Bunyan, be obliged to pass through 'Vanity Fair'
without indulging in its empty shows. The word occurs three times in the New
'Confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims' (Heb. 11:13).
'To the strangers scattered throughout ... Asia' (1 Pet. 1:1).
'As strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts' (1 Pet. 2:11).
Two words, paroikos and parepidemos are found in the LXX of Genesis
23:4, where Abraham, negotiating for a burial place in the very land of
promise, confessed to the sons of Heth,
'I am a stranger and a sojourner with you'.
A more remarkable passage where the two words occur once more is Psalm 39:12,
which the LXX reads:
'I am a stranger in the land and a pilgrim, as all my fathers were'.
The Authorized Version following the Hebrew reads:
'For I am a stranger with Thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers
The Hebrew word ger 'stranger' indicates a person 'entirely dependent on
another for shelter and food; without rights of property: a tenant at will'
(W. Kay, D.D.). Here, the words 'with Thee' and 'with Me' open up a
wonderful avenue of truth. God has used the words of Himself, saying to
Israel 'For ye are strangers and sojourners with Me' (Lev. 25:23).
Consequently we read that the present limited 'heaven' is likened to a 'tent'
for God to dwell in (Isa. 40:22). Not until the purpose of the ages is
attained will God Himself fail to share the pilgrimage of His redeemed
people. Since the fall of Adam, God Himself, we may say reverently, awaits
the day of glory that lies ahead. He will dwell in a Tabernacle (or tent);
His dwelling place will be a movable one, even as it was all through the days
of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness. We are pilgrims but we do not walk