Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 16, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Hebrews 11:8-16 (NKJV)
11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Abraham trusted the promise of God and therefore had what he had: the land of promise was his to dwell in! Yet, he sired something greater, so it was dwelt in as if he remained a traveler. Within two generations he and his family would leave that land behind for Egypt so that they might survive a drought. Becoming comfortable there, due to the status of Joseph, they remained out in this new world, amidst its false gods, until a ruler who wouldn’t recognize the contributions of this family finally enslaved them.
So it was that the Lord had to deliver the sons of Abraham once again to the land promised them, to live in buildings this time, instead of tents, even though that land could again be taken from them. Through both of these habitations of the land of promise we learn that our permanent dwelling must have a foundation put in place by God alone. The birth of Isaac to this couple who were rightly reckoned “past the age” and “as good as dead” in the eyes of Man teaches the same thing (as did circumcision and the death of the Egyptian firstborn): by the will and power of the Lord alone, not by the potency or wisdom of men, is our eternal dwelling established.
We pray: We thank You, Lord, that those who did not live on Earth to see the fulfillment in Christ nonetheless embraced Your promises, confessing the place He would earn as their true home. Through faith in the atonement not yet made they were already justified and declared citizens of the heavenly city—as are we, through the same atonement of Christ—so we thank You for their example of faith, and for teaching us through them what justification truly entails and gives. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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