Strangers and pilgrims
For reading & meditation: Hebrews 11:8-16
“‘ Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (v.16)
We continue meditating on the fact that one of the reasons why we find it so difficult to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty is because we have never really died to self-interest. We are more concerned about our own purposes than we are about His – hence we are uncertain and insecure. Today we look at Abraham and the way he handled his situation of ambiguity and uncertainty. He was almost seventy-five years old when God called him to step out on the pathway of uncertainty. There he was, loading up his camel caravan with his wife and nephew, bound for ‘somewhere’. The Amplified Bible puts if most effectively when it says: “‘ he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.” Charles Swindoll humorously pictures a conversation between Abraham and his neighbours going something like this: “Abraham, where are your going?” “I’m moving.” “Why? Why ever would you want to leave Ur?” “God has made it clear that I should go.” “God? You’ve been talking to Him again?” “Right. He told me to leave. I must go.” “Well, where are you going?” “I don’t know; He didn’t tell me that.” “Wait a minute, you know you ought to go, but you don’t know where you ought to go?” “Yes.” “Abraham, you really have gone off the deep end.” And so it continues. It isn’t easy to obey without understanding. It is the same thing that we talked about two days ago: going – without knowing. It might help to remind ourselves of the term God sometimes uses to describe us – strangers and pilgrims. People on the move, free to follow Him wherever He leads – regardless.
O God, You who wrap me around as the atmosphere wraps itself around my body. Let me respond to You as my physical body responds to its environment – and lives. Help me to trust You even when I cannot trace You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was the result of Abraham’s obedience?
2. What followed his first step of obedience?