Focal passage: Psalm 119:17-24
We all encounter difficult people and challenging social situations in our day-to-day lives. The psalmist in this week’s passage describes “insolent, accursed ones” and feeling “scorn and contempt.” (Psalm 119:21-22). He adds that we may also feel like we are a stranger or sojourner on this earth.
A sojourner has the experience of living in a social environment that is different than their usual one. For some of us, it is experienced in a work environment or a new social environment.
We can ask the Lord to help us in our time of need, even with the most difficult of people and circumstances.
Going from “Bible Belt, U.S.A.” to being on the mission field in India certainly gave our family the experience of living as sojourners. We were strangers in a land full of the unfamiliar.
Fortunately for us, we loved the Indian people and delighted in the new food and fabrics of the culture. We were not without our awkward situations, however.
There was the time we entered a church service and eagerly sat on the floor as a family to participate in worship. We started observing our surroundings and realized that there were designated sections for men and women.
We had sat on the women’s side, so my daughters and I tried not to giggle as my husband and sons tried to quietly slide over to the male side of the gathering.
Another experience brought fear. A man with a snake around his neck put the reptile in my face, seemingly showing off for his friends.
I promptly told him in Hindi to go away in the name of Jesus, and he did! God “rebukes the insolent,” (v. 21) and He is “my delight” (v. 24).
One of the primary ways God helps us is by providing His word to keep us focused on Him. There will be times that we feel left out, opposed and theologically challenged.
The psalmist points us to “meditate on your statutes” (v. 23) and we can still “delight” (v. 24).