It’s going to happen to me. It’s going to happen to you. You and I are going to die. The psalmist writes, “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me.” (Psalm 139:16) There’s a day when your life, in this world, will come to an end. You are here only as long as God, not you, has ordained. Solomon said, “Man knows not his time.” What a sobering thought. I may not see you this Sunday, or maybe I will. One of us or, perhaps, both of us may not make it that long.
I wonder if old Abraham had any clue that he would live to a ripe old age of 175. 76 years earlier, Abraham was referred to as “worn out” (Gen. 18:11), like a piece of clothing that was no longer fit to be worn it was so porous. He probably never would have guessed that God would allow him to sojourn in Canaan, a foreign land, for the sum of 100 years. Every day of Abraham’s life was set aside for the accomplishment of God’s purposes. Abraham, apparently, lived with that understanding. Hebrews 11:13 indicates that Abraham lived as a “sojourner and pilgrim in a foreign land,” fully trusting God with every day. What an epitaph to his life – “a sojourner and pilgrim in a foreign land.” He lived in this foreign land by faith.
Abraham was from another land, and not just the land he came from. He was from a “better, that is, heavenly country” (Heb. 11:16). Today, Abraham is no longer on that pilgrimage; he’s no longer sojourning. He’s home! Assuming your faith is in Jesus Christ, you are, right now, a sojourner and pilgrim in a foreign land. Yes, heaven is your home. Yes, God gives you victory over death and sin through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). But right now, you still are a sojourner and pilgrim on a mission. As was the case with Abraham, you are now here, in this foreign land, to fulfill God’s plans and purposes.
This Sunday, we’ll consider Abraham’s epitaph, looking for clues to aid our sojourning and pilgrimage until, as Jesus said, we “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 8:11)