Psalm 26:7--That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Pilgrimage

Genesis 47:8, 9--And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

Today's devotional is on diction, or word choice. The words we choose have a powerful impact on others. A single word can change the entire meaning of something. The example my English teacher always likes to use is "Which one sounds better? 'The U. S. army wanted revenge' or 'The U. S. army thirsted for revenge'?" See how much more gruesome and imperative the second one sounds? All because of a single word, a girl can go from looking good to being of divine beauty if she is described as "angelic" instead of "pretty."

So the word I want us to look at in this passage is "pilgrimage." When asked how old he was, Jacob didn't simply report the number of years he'd lived. He said he had gone through a hundred and thirty years of pilgrimage. Not life, but pilgrimage.

When asked how old we are, most of us just reply with a number, but not Jacob. He knew there was more to it than that. He looked beyond the grave to his real home. That's why he called his life a pilgrimage. Pharaoh was asking about the days of Jacob's life, but Jacob went beyond that and told him about the other side, all with one word. He described his life as a journey to a desired destination. And that's what it is, or what it should be.

Our life is not to be focused on the things of this earth, the temporal things. If we are worrying about earthly matters--money, possessions, power--then we are not preparing for our destination. We should be focused on Heaven, our real home, as Jacob was. That is where our minds and hearts should lie.

When our life is over, if we're saved, we've got much better things than this world could ever offer. If this earth--which is filled with sin and war and disease and corruption, where you can hardly trust anyone--is all we've got to look forward to, we haven't got much. But thank God that through Jesus Christ I have a Heavenly home that I'm headed to! This world is not my home; this life is not the end. It is only the journey taking me there; it is only the beginning. I thank the Lord that my life is only a pilgrimage!

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