S181P4 – The king’s exiting prayer: a foreign people

1 Chr. 29:15

We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors.  Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.

The neighborhood where I spent much of my childhood was pretty diverse, but most of us still had pretty similar lifestyles.  I would not have counted my friends or their families as strange even though we were not exactly the same.  Then, I became friends with a boy and his two sisters who lived next to friends of mine.  They were first generation in this country, and they lived with their parents and grandmother.  They spoke a different language, ate different food, and had very different customs.  It was the first time I had encountered someone I considered a foreigner.  We played a lot and got along well, but it was obvious that we came from different places because we lived so differently from one another.

In the Old Testament, we often read about foreigners, but it usually is in reference to Israel being foreigners in another land.  Here, David recognized that his people, really all people, are foreigners when compared to God.  We come from a different place, live a different way, and are so far removed from everything that He is.  His holiness is far beyond us; we cannot compare to him.  Life as God knows it is so different than life as we know it, his existence well beyond our comprehension and imagination.  The way we live, affected and infected by sin, is so distinct from his perfect existence.  What we call life here is only a shadow of what living can really be and what living is like for an eternal God.

Once we recognize our strangeness to God, his way with us becomes even harder to comprehend.  David knew how unreal and unreasonable it was for a holy God to love, protect, guide, and desire to fellowship with such a peculiar people.  For God, though, this was very real and very reasonable.  He did not make us strangers, but we made ourselves become that.  He now has made the way for us to go from being strangers and enemies to being his friends and children.  He has turned the brief, dark, flawed, hopeless life of this world into a redeemable and hopeful beginning to perfect eternity.  Father, thank You for taking us from being hopeless strangers to being your children and heirs to your promises.