What does the Bible say about traveling?
We’ve probably all experienced some of the joys of travel: beholding the beauty of God’s creation, fellowship with friends and family, meeting new people, experiencing other cultures or sharing the gospel. And we have probably all experienced some of the downsides to travel: fatigue, cost, family conflict, danger, work trips that take you away from family and your bed.
In this article, I want to briefly look at travel within the context of the biblical plot movements – creation, fall, redemption, restoration – to see what we can learn about travel from the perspective of a biblical worldview.
As Christians we always want to include God in our plans in life. Maybe you or someone you know is on vacation about to go on a trip, if so pray to God for guidance and protection. Traveling might sometimes seem scary because we’re not used to it and can’t see everything, but God can, and He will keep you safe and watch over you on your journey.
First and foremost, travel is a divine command (vocation). It’s a work trip to do the Lord’s business. God tells Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). In other words, traveling is part of humanity’s job description. However, God isn’t so much telling Adam and Eve to leave the Garden as He is telling them to extend the Garden. So, in the beginning, travel was a boon, not a bane, of human existence. And it was something that we did together: with God and one another. We worked together and Sabbathed together (Genesis 2:1-3).
The gospel of John starts from the very beginning: God created. While abroad I easily get lost marveling at the genius of ancient architecture or the complexity of a modern cityscape. And yet human creation was made possible through God. My favorite travel moments are typically in nature, the ones that leave me in complete awe of the brilliance of God.
Here are more Bible verses about traveling every Christian Should Know:
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
James 4:13-16 ESV
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Numbers 24:1-25 ESV
When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!
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