The Hebrews did not believe any place on this earth was their home; they were “sojourners” as long as they lived. They spent as much time as possible outdoors with the God they worshipped and went inside only when necessary. Even the exterior of their houses was seldom inviting. They simply saw no need in spending money on anything transitory and unspiritual.
What a difference in their culture and ours, and it certainly colored a lot of my reading afterward. Notice these passages of scripture.
I am a sojourner in the earth: hide not your commandments from me. Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage Psa 119:19,54.
For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding. 1 Chron 29:15.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, Heb 11:13.
Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation, 1 Pet 2:10,11.
Have you noticed the first thing many newly rich people do? They build themselves a fine house. Have you noticed what people do when they get older and feel that they have “finally arrived?” They buy themselves a bigger, better house, even after they no longer have a family to fill it with. Why is it that a “dream house” appeals to so many of us? It certainly cannot be security because nothing will draw thieves like a house that promises even more fine things inside it to steal, and the recent spate of storms proves that even big houses can be destroyed in the wink of an eye.
I think it’s about attachment to this world and the pride that says we should have certain things “befitting our station in life.” Since when is a Christian worried about such things? We need to have a little more of the Hebrew mindset. It really shouldn’t matter to us what we live in or where. This world is not our home, we so often sing. Are we lying when we do so?
I think back on the Garden of Eden, the perfect home God made for his children. Do you realize nothing is said about a beautiful house there? The garden was the perfect place, the place where in the evening God walked with his children.
Wherever God is, that is our true home. When we really believe that, so much that happens here will no longer matter. That perspective will help us overcome sin, bear trials, and serve others. That realization will keep us from coveting another’s wealth, including his fancy house, and it will keep us from wrecking our stewardship trying to buy things we cannot afford, and make us content with what we can.
Home is where the heart is, we say. Where is your heart this morning?
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Matt 6:19-21.