Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 11

The city of God

Hebrews 11:10

Abraham lived like a foreigner in the country that God had promised to him. The author of Hebrews explains why Abraham was content to do that. It was because Abraham was confident about his hope. Abraham knew that, in the future, he would have a permanent home. It would be in the city that God has established. God is its architect and its builder. God has put it on a strong foundation, that is, a strong base. People who wanted their houses to be strong used rock as the foundation (Luke 6:48). The Bible uses the word Ďfoundationí to describe Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), and the things that Christians believe (Hebrews 6:1). Christ and his message give security to people who trust them.

In that city, Abrahamís journeys would end. There he would live with his friend, God. There he would always be safe.

The Book of Genesis does not mention that city. And the cities that it describes were often very wicked places (Genesis 4:17; Genesis 11:4; Genesis 13:12-13). However, God did promise to Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12:2), with many people (Genesis 15:5), including kings (Genesis 17:6). Clearly, such a nation would be very different from the wicked cities that Abraham knew. It would be the country where people were loyal to God. And there, God would live among his people.

Ancient Israel was like that. Godís house (called the temple) was in the capital city, Jerusalem. And sometimes the people there were loyal to God. But often, they were not.

The Bible teaches that there will be such a city in the future. The author of Hebrews refers to that city in Hebrews 12:22. It is clear that he describes there the same city as in Hebrews 11:10.

The Bible ends with the promise of that city in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. It will be a completely holy city; nothing evil will happen there. Many people will live there, and they will all be loyal to God. And God himself will live there, among them. That was Abrahamís hope. And it will happen in the end.

Next part: The faith of Sarah (Hebrews 11:11)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.