21st Century Pilgrim
Vocal- Richard Farrell
Piano – Jay Rattman
Guitars- Tom Kozic
Bass and Strings-John Carlton
Drums and Percussion-Dave Mosca
Music and Lyrics- M & A. Grace Garzillo
Jacob Speaks Kindly Unto Pharaoh
Genesis 47:7, And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, “How old art thou?” 9, And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days and years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.”
Whether we realize it or not, we are all on a pilgrimage. Our life is no different than Jacob’s life. He said his fathers were on a pilgrimage, and we can say, our fathers were on a pilgrimage also, if, we consider our family tree and when our pilgrimage started.
Websters dictionary says of a pilgrim or pilgrimage: A journey made by a pilgrim to a shrine or holy place, especially to a foreign land.
Not only are we pilgrims on a pilgrimage, but we all live in temporary dwellings. We can read of those who were wanderers in the wilderness, how they, according to the Book of the Exodus, lived in tents. and when they would continue their journey, they would fold up their tents and move on, only to pitch their tents night after night as they continued their journey. A tent is only a temporary dwelling. And so it was with them, they were searching for a permanent residence.
Hebrews 11:8, “By faith, Abraham, when he was called to go out unto a place which he after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out not knowing whither he went. 9, By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10, For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
We have a physical body, and just as a tent is only temporary, our bodies are only temporary, for we know that someday we will die. We have the same physical life as Jacob did and he eventually died, Genesis 49:33.
Jacob and his fathers believed in something very real to them. Their life was a journey to someplace real, a place which had a foundation. How about me and you? Do we have any idea where our pilgrimage will end up. The libraries are full of philosophers and those with grand ideas. Pick one. Which one will you place your faith in? All these philosopher’s and idea men didn’t realize during their lifetime, that they were on a pilgrimage just as Jacob and we are.
In the mid fifties, during the last century, there was a female singer named Peggy Lee, who sang a song entitled, “Is That All There Is”. I didn’t know the answer to the title of her song then, but I believe I do know the answer now. Not because someone told me but because I read and understood it for myself in the story of the Exodus.
The Book of the Exodus reads of a people who became enslaved in Egypt, and because of God’s great love and mercy for them, He raised Moses up to deliver His people, and for them, this was their new beginning. We read of a Feast at the beginning of the year called the Passover, and we can read of a Feast at the end of the year called a harvest, or the Feast of Tabernacles.
We can say that the first feast, Passover, pictures the beginning of our life with our hunger for many things, or goals. When we were young we hungered for an education, a good job, then marriage, after that children and so on. We were very hungry for fulfilling many goals and accomplishing many things during our lifetime. In some ways we were like Jacob, whose life journey he called a pilgrimage. He was a very hungry man, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, pursuing a vision he and his forefathers passed down to him. How about us, are we wandering aimlessly in life’s wilderness, or do we also have a vision ? In all his efforts, his hunger was somewhat satisfied. But something was missing. He needed something not only to satisfy his hunger, but he needed drink also to quench his thirst.
Quenching Our Thirst
We, as humans, need not only food but we need drink also to quench our thirst. At the end of our life, a type of harvest, or tabernacles, we find ourselves, in spite of all our human accomplishments, can we really say that our life has been satisfying? Have we found our permanent residence, or are we like Peggy Lee still asking the question, is that all there is?
John 7:37, In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. 39, He, that believeth on Me, as the scriptures hath said, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Is this what Jacob and his forefathers were seeking all along? Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham was called by God in the beginning of the book of Genesis, and In the last book, the Book of Revelations, we see a city. Is this the city Abraham saw, the New Jerusalem, And in the city, a river of water that will quench our thirst?
The New Jerusalem
Now that we are able to look back through man’s history, what is it that we see? Dates are remembered because of the beginning of wars or the end of wars. Man creating treaty upon treaty, only to break the peace that was hoped for. We see conflicts all the time, excluding no one. Peaceful times are rare and only short lived. This is the legacy handed down by the pilgrimages of human endeavor. Our pursuit to satisfy our hunger in a peaceful and lasting way escapes us. We all need a new direction. We need the vision Jacob saw, a promised land where the pursuit of a lasting peace with all men is possible which will lead to an inner piece within ourselves as well. He spent his life’s journey pursuing a City whose builder and maker is God, yet not only for himself, but for his progeny and his extended family of fellow men. This is really the hunger of all men, to return to our maker to satisfy our hunger, and to quench our thirst with the drink which can only be found in the heavenly Jerusalem, rightly called, a city of peace.