I am a sojourner on earth; do not hide your commandments from me!—Psalm 119:19
When God's Word fell upon me for the first time, it made me into a sojourner on this earth. It put me in a long line of fathers of the faith who lived as strangers in the promised land (Hebrews 11:9).
Abraham believed the call bidding him to go out of his homeland into the land of promise, and he acquired it at an advanced age, after the death of Sarah, "as a stranger," and as a person without full rights in this country. Jacob confessed before Pharaoh that his whole life had been a pilgrimage, even shorter and worse than the pilgrimage of his fathers Isaac and Abraham (Genesis 47:9).
When the children of Abraham took firm possession of the land of Canaan, they never were allowed to forget that they, too, were once strangers and still were. They were strangers in Egypt (Exodus 22:20), and to this day they are still "strangers and sojourners" in the land that doesn't belong to them, but to God (Leviticus 25:23). In a great and solemn hour of his life, David joined together with his father in declaring: "We are strangers and sojourners in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding" (1 Chronicles 29:15).
I am a sojourner on the earth. By saying that, I acknowledge I cannot stay here, and my time is short. Furthermore I don't have any claim to possessions or a home. I must gratefully receive all good things that are given to me. However, I must suffer injustice and violence without anyone standing up for me. I find firm support neither in people nor in things. As a sojourner I am subject to the laws of my refuge.