The facts in Hebrews 11:9 are well-known to readers of the Bible. But you may still get a shock because of the way that the author of Hebrews expresses those facts.
God had promised a country to Abraham, which he and his future family would receive as their permanent possession. So Abraham left his home in the wealthy and important city called Ur. And he began the long journey to the country that God was giving to him. It was a journey of over 1000 miles.
But when Abraham arrived in that country, he owned none of it. He did not even have a permanent home there; he lived in a tent. So did his son, Isaac; and his grandson, Jacob. They lived like foreigners in the country that God had promised to them. This was so during their whole lives. Another 400 years passed before their families took possession of the country.
That is not how we often expect God to carry out his promises. We do not like to wait. But we often have to wait for the time that God has chosen. And as we wait, we should have faith (active belief and trust in God).
God did not disappoint Abraham. Abraham was not travelling in order to become wealthy or to own land. When Abraham began his journey, he was accepting a relationship with God. And that relationship was what Abraham wanted most of all. God became Abrahamís friend. And Abraham trusted God.
That attitude of trust is faith. Abraham expected that God would carry out his promises. So Abraham did not try to argue that God should do these things sooner. God knew the best time to do these things. And Abraham knew that he should simply trust God.
Next part: The city of God (Hebrews 11:10)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.