google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Highlights in Hebrews 31
Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 31 - Hebrews 11:13-16 Faith in the dark


All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. NLT.

Church can be very boring, can’t it! (That’s a statement you wont often see.) Perhaps you have been going to church for many years, decades even. Every pastor has a cycle length, that is, after a certain length of time they have said all they know and are really just repeating themselves even when the scripture being preached from is different. A weak pastor may only last for a few months before the repetition starts. Most pastors can only manage a few years. Only those who spend a lot of time studying can keep going beyond the memory of their congregation.

Then the songs or hymns may have become too well known and the tempo of the singing may be so slow it is boring. If the church follows a liturgy it may become increasingly difficult to focus on the liturgy and not what you have got to do in the garden next, or what would be best for the next meal. Perhaps, if the truth were known, most people are turning up in church not for the service but to meet their friends afterwards.

Oh, dear - you will be thinking this is a very jaundiced view of church. Yes, it is. Fortunately we are all people of habit and once the idea is firmly planted in our brains we tend to turn up every week in the hope that things may have changed.

Life will have been very boring for Abraham and family too. Ur to Haran would have been more than 800 miles. Guessing more than a bit - they would have been able to move only about every third day. They would need to send a scouting party ahead to find water and agree where they could pasture their animals. When they did move they would only cover about 8 miles a day with a mixed family party. The net result is that they would have taken about a year to cover the ground that far and they would have to put up and take down their tents about 100 times. All that would be very difficult and rather boring.

Going from Haran to Egypt - they did not stop where they should have done because of famine - is about the same distance. So that would have been a second year of travelling. It’s no wonder that the writer says they did not receive the things promised but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

That was the sort of stickability they showed. Our writer has described that because he thinks we, helped by the Holy Spirit and our knowledge of what Jesus did for us, should show the same sort of stickability.

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