LEADING THE LIFE OF A STRANGER…

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Ellicott:

In return for his consenting to lead the life of a stranger, he was to be the means of procuring religious privileges, not only for his own descendants, but also “for all families of the earth”

Matthew Henry:

Abram was tried whether he loved God better than all, and whether he could willingly leave all to go with God.

His kindred and his father’s house were a constant temptation to him, he could not continue among them without danger of being infected by them.

The command God gave to Abram, is much the same with the gospel call, for natural affection must give way to Divine grace. Sin, and all the occasions of it, must be forsaken; particularly bad company.

Come out from among them…

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

THAT FORSAKING OF ALL THINGS

Ruth 1:16-17 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

MacLaren:

Ruth’s passionate burst of tenderness is immortal. It has put into fitting words for all generations the deepest thoughts of loving hearts, and comes to us over all the centuries between, as warm and living as when it welled up from that gentle, heroic soul.

We hear in Ruth’s words also that forsaking of all things which is an essential of all true religion.

… her faith, it was genuine and robust enough to bear the strain of casting Chemosh and the gods of Moab behind her, and setting herself with full purpose of heart to seek the Lord.

Abandoning them was digging an impassable gulf between herself and all her past, with its friendships, loves, and habits.

She is one of the first, and not the least noble, of the long series of those who ‘suffer the loss of all things, and count them but dung, that they may win’ God for their dearest treasure.

CHOICES: Lead me, O LORD

Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Spurgeon:

Lead me, O Lord,” as a little child is led by its father, as a blind man is guided by his friend. It is safe and pleasant walking when God leads the way.

Brethren, when we have learned to give up our own way, and long to walk in God’s way, it is a happy sign of grace; and it is no small mercy to see the way of God with clear vision straight before our face. Errors about duty may lead us into a sea of sins, before we know where we are.

Benson:

Lead me, O Lord —

Make the way — Wherein thou wouldst have me to walk, or the course thou wouldst have me to take;

straight before my face — Plain to my view, that I may clearly discern it, and readily, evenly, and smoothly walk in it without mistake, hinderance, or stumbling,…

Barnes:

Make thy way straight before my face – The way in which thou wouldst have me to walk. That is, mark out or make plain before me the path for me to tread – the path in which thou wilt deliver me. He was in perplexity, and knew not which way to go, and he looks up to God for guidance and direction.

Matthew Poole:

Thy way, i.e. the way wherein thou wouldst have me to walk, or the course which thou wouldst have me to take; for God’s precepts or counsels are most commonly called his way.

Straight, or plain, or smooth, that I may clearly discern it, and readily walk in it, without mistake, or let, or stumbling, or offence. This was a needful request, because many good men are oft at a loss what their duty is in several circumstances. And God granted this request to David, as in many other things, so in this,…

Gill:

Make thy way straight before my face; thy way of providence, thy way of grace, thy way of worship and duty; let it appear plain and manifest, that I may know in which way I should walk; and let all obstructions be removed out of the way, that I may walk straight on, without any difficulty or hinderance.

Cambridge:

The prayer for guidance which is the main object and central thought of the Psalm.