ĎThe world was not worthy of themí that is, of Godís people. Godís people are holy, in other words, they belong to God Ė not to this world. Other people belong to this world; they did not deserve even to have Godís people among them.
Somehow, the cruel enemies of Godís people understood this difference. So they tried to separate themselves from Godís people. Because Godís people were strangers and foreigners in this world (Hebrews 11:13-16), their enemies sent them away. Often, they could not stay in the towns or cities.
Their enemies said that they did not deserve a place in this world. They forced Godís people to leave the parts of the world where people live. But then, the world itself seemed to receive them. It gave them the honour that people had refused to give them. The vast mountains and deserts became their possession. The earth provided holes where they could find shelter (1 Kings 19:11-13). The earth gave them caves to live in (1 Samuel 22:1).
So they became like Christ. The world belonged to him. But when he came to his own home, his own people did not receive him (John 1:9-11). He too knew the deserts (Mark 1:12-13) and the mountains (Mark 9:2-8). And he chose such places for prayer (Mark 1:35; Mark 6:46).
Like Christ, Godís people were often poor in this world, although the world itself will be theirs (Matthew 5:5). Also like him, they trusted God, even when they suffered the most terrible troubles. And they waited, even as we wait, for God to complete his promises to them.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.