By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God […] And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:8-16 NIV)
When we read or study the Scriptures about Abraham, we must not only see him as a Bible character, from whom we learn application, but one who is our forefather in the faith. We are adopted into God’s family by believing in Christ Jesus who is Himself the promised Seed of Abraham through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. Scripture says, Abraham “’believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘in you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:6–9).Scripture also says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” because Christ is the promised Seed(Galatians 3:26).
The writer of Hebrews uses Abraham, the father of faith as a very powerful example of what faith in God can do! He says “by faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).We also, with Abraham, will inherit that Heavenly City, Country. Although Abraham did not have the full picture of what God was doing, he obeyed God and went to a place, not knowing where he was going. God has told us much about our Heavenly Country. Unlike Abraham, we have the full picture of that Country and the high cost of our freedom to gain citizenship there, Jesus, hanging on a tree, the Cross, lifeless, having given His life for our salvation; yet we remain careless about how we prepare for that place! There are many who act as though we are going to stay here, live the good life, then enter that other realm of rest called heaven! It does not work like that! Our forbearers saw themselves as pilgrims, not settlers! Those who settle for the world’s encroachment into our sacred things, settle for the co-opting of our weak brothers and sisters while the world promises a false peace, a peace they can never give. “For He [Christ] Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity […] to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross” (Ephesians 2:14–16).For Christ, our peace, has broken down the middle wall of separation between Jew and Gentile, thus making our Country, our Heavenly-Home, a country of peace, ruled by the Prince of Peace who made peace by dying for His enemies, His opponents, His crucifiers; for death, He gave forgiveness, passage into His Heavenly Country, and safe sanctuary while waiting on that day!
“For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).The Lord wants us to live here like strangers, foreigners in the country where you now reside. Have you so settled down here that you look more like you belong here rather than there? Are you truly looking forward to God’s Country, the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God? When we truly look forward, we do not look backwards or around. Our focus is solely, “unto Jesus!” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents. We must recognize that we also live in tents. Paul said, “for we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Therefore, as those who look for the city with foundations, let us who dwell in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, join them in showing that we also believe Abraham’s vision of the Heavenly Country, having no intention of returning to the earthly!