| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 11 of 277 INDEX | |
'In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His
presence saved them' (Isa. 63:9).
The attitude of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as described
in Hebrews 11, the attitude of Israel, as described in Deuteronomy 2:26 -28
and the words and terms of Ephesians 2:19 will give sufficient light on the
nature of this our pilgrimage, to enable all who believe to realize something
of the 'other worldly' character of our calling. The principle contained in
'Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come' (Heb.
is true of all the redeemed, of whatever calling or sphere of blessing.
Abraham 'sojourned' in the very land of promise as 'in a strange country'
and, instead of staking his claim, he became a 'tent dweller' as did Isaac
and Jacob. He had a city in view, but it was a heavenly one (Heb. 12:22), a
'better, that is, an heavenly country' (11:16), and these men of faith died
without actually receiving in this life a fulfilment of the promises made to
them. Even so they embraced them, believed them, and by their attitude
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims passing through to their
inheritance that lay beyond. Such an attitude plainly reveals a quest. They
sought a better country and resisted all temptation to turn back. As
pilgrims passing through this world, we are enjoined:
'If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all
men' (Rom. 12:18).
The request made in Deuteronomy 2:27 'to pass through' uses the Hebrew word
abar. Abar means:
'To emigrate, leave one's territory or city (Mic. 1:11), to be
alienated, to pass into other lands (Ezek. 48:14); the noun form
indicates a region across or beyond, and so the word Hebrew, means one
from beyond, from the other side, i.e. probably from beyond the
Euphrates (Josh. 24:23), but possibly, in fact (if the name be given to
Canaan) from beyond Jordan' (Brown, Driver and Briggs).
Ephesians 2 reveals the state of the Gentile by nature, as an alien
from the citizenship of Israel and a stranger from the covenants of promise,
but with the breaking down of the middle wall of partition a new man was
created, and the Gentiles, who were once far off, are no longer strangers and
foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God
(Eph. 2:11 -19), and like Abraham who had the heavenly city in view, are
exhorted to 'seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the
right hand of God' (Col. 3:1 -4). The pilgrim attitude is summed up by Paul
in 1 Corinthians 7:29 -31:
'But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both
they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as
though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced
not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use
this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth
Moffatt translates verse 31: