Like a whale living in a pond yearns for the ocean, believers sojourn here on earth awaiting an end-time home. Reverence and awe should characterize the lives of believers during their exile on this earth (I Peter 1:17; 2:11, ESV).
The Bible mentions the word sojourner about thirty-two times if my calculations are correct. Many times, the Bible categorizes it along with the fatherless and widows as landless people whom God watches over. Abraham considered himself a foreigner in the land even after 62 years of existence in Canaan. He chose to continue to live in tents. He longed for a city whose designer and builder are God (Heb. 11:9-10, ESV).
We read in Ezekiel 47:21-23 instructions for the Israelites to treat sojourners who live among them as native-born and share their inheritance with them as they divide the land among the tribes of Israel. They had been strangers in Egypt and knew what it was like. God is telling them to treat these strangers as if they are one of their own. This reminds me of how God grafted in the Gentiles to share in salvation along with the Jews (Romans 11:11-17, ESV).
When the Israelites turned away from God and became idolaters, they were wanderers among the nations because they did not listen to God. A wanderer is different than being a sojourner, in the way we drift away from obedience to God. Sometimes we wander in the darkness for many years. Just as the Israelites put themselves at risk, we do as well when we abandon God’s Word. A sojourner continues to search for nuggets of truth like spiritual breadcrumbs on the path to righteousness.