Looking for a city!
Scripture reading for November 16th: Hebrews 13:1-25
“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) Jews in the land of Israel viewed the city of Jerusalem as the city of God’s house. They felt that God would protect this city forever and that it would be safe. But God did allow the city to be captured and destroyed by the Babylonians. The writer of Hebrews was telling these Jewish believers that this city of Jerusalem was not the permanent city that God had prepared. This city and temple was now obsolete and passing away. Jesus had warned of it’s destruction because of the Jews rejection of Him. (Matthew 23:37-39) Faith looked ahead to God’s ultimate city that He was preparing for them!
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he didn’t know where he was going. . . .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.” (Hebrews 11:8, 9b, 10) Abraham knew of this heavenly city and even as he lived in a tent in the promised land was looking with faith to this heavenly city to be constructed by God Himself. His offspring also had this hope!
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. . .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 11:13-14, 16) All those early pioneers of the Jewish faith understood about the heavenly city and promise of a permanent dwelling place with God. This faith pleased God and in Jesus Christ has prepared this heavenly city! Some of Jesus last instructions to His disciples included the promise that in Father’s house were many rooms and He was preparing a place for them! He is coming back to take all His followers to be with Him in that beautiful place!