“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded of them and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth—for they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a Country.”
When you’re bogged down or feel stuck at “Wit’s End Corner” (Ps. 107:27), just remember where you’re headed and the One Who’s traveling with you.
Hebrews 11 is often called “The Heroes’ Hall of Faith” and in its 40 verses we read of the essence of “pleasing” or “saving” faith (vv. 1-3, 6) and various examples of some in Biblical days who possessed it (vv.4-5, 7-40).
However, today’s Manna reminds us that none of them experienced firsthand all of God’s Promises. They “saw some of them afar off,” which meant they caught a glimpse of what they might look like. And, by faith, they were “persuaded of them,” which meant they were convinced that they were true—which led them to “embrace (Grk. ‘aspazomai’—‘to enfold one’s arms around, salute, welcome, greet, etc.’) them,” i.e., envision what they’d look/feel like once they became reality.
Yet, they were still beyond their grasp.
And, that’s why they “confessed that they were strangers (Grk. ‘xenos’—‘alien, guest, foreigner, etc.’) and pilgrims (Grk. ‘parepidemos’—‘an alien alongside, one passing through/by, one dwelling in a foreign country, etc.’) on the earth.”
They knew they weren’t Home yet (Phil. 3:20-21).
And, neither are we.
That’s why we, like them, must “declare plainly (Grk. ‘emphanizo’—‘to openly exhibit in words, testify to, inform, signify, manifest, emphasize, make apparent, etc.’) that they seek a Country.” Or, in other words, let others know by our words and deed that “This world is not my Home, I’m just a-travelin’ through; My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me to Heaven’s open Door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” Hallelujah!!
Yes, dear Pilgrim, truly, this world is not our Home.
And, we should be so glad that it’s not! Wouldn’t it be horrible if it was?
No, our Lord is even now “preparing a Place for us” (Jn. 14:1-3) and it’s going to be wonderful—far beyond what we can even imagine (I Cor. 2:9)! Glory!!
Therefore, for now, we must not “grow weary in well-doing or faint in our mind” (Gal. 6:9) even as a marathon runner must continue pressing toward the finish line after he/she has “hit the wall” at the 20-21 mile mark. The main difference is we don’t run alone—and we run in His Strength (Is. 40:31; II Cor. 12:9-10).
Why not pause right now and give thanks for Christ’s Presence, Promises and Power in your life? Then, seek an opportunity today to let someone else know how they, too, can become a “Stranger, Pilgrim and Seeker”—reminding them of the Joy that awaits all those who “fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith” (II Tim. 4:7-8; Mt. 25:21, 23).
July 7, 2011