Saturday, June 03, 2006
I live in Maryland but I was born and raised in Missouri. I have lived longer outside Missouri than I did in the state at this point in my life. Many people are travelers and strangers in life. When Jacob, or should I say Israel, returned to the land of Canaan in chapter 21-35 of Genesis, a concluding remark of the passage is “These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan Aram.” (Genesis 35:27 NIV) Paddan Aram was northwestern Mesopotamia. The land of Canaan was not where the twelve sons were born. They were outsiders to the land they were coming. They would be outsiders in the same way their father had been an outsider where they were born. Places of origin are a construct of the mind and culture. We sense and feel that we are native to a place because of how it affects our speech, our sense of seasons of the year, and sense of belonging. Of course it is not limited to these, things but these are few of the things that make one feel he or she belongs somewhere. God in His sovereignty made Jacob and his sons strangers in the land. Perhaps you are a stranger too. God can use that in your life to do something great just as he did so with Jacob.