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.
After a long, tiring day of travel, nothing is better than arriving at a destination where a meal and bed are prepared. Knowing the day’s journey is behind you makes the food taste better and the bed more comfortable. When you’re not sure where you will eat or sleep, the journey is more stressful.
The writer of Hebrews describes several Old Testament believers who were living and walking by faith. They really didn’t know where they were headed. They could have gone back to their original country. But instead they were looking ahead to a much better place, one that they knew God was preparing for them.
Christians—who long for the kingdom of God—can also be encouraged that God will take care of them and has prepared a place for them. The image here is not that of a tent or a hotel room, but something permanent—a home that will include everything a believer needs.
The images Scripture uses to describe this home as “a country of their own” and “a city for them” can inspire our imaginations, but we do not yet have all the answers about what this home will look like. But we do know it will be a place of rest and joy. How could it not be? The God of the universe is preparing it for us!
King of Heaven, we long to visit your beautiful city. Thank you for preparing a place for us. Send your Spirit to give us joy and peace for the remainder of our pilgrimage. Amen.
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