“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb.11:13)
All of us have made promises that, at one time or another, we failed to keep them. On the other hand, how far superior are the promises of God! In the passage, preceding the above verse, we discovered that God promised Abraham and his descendents a land but was that all. Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.” (Jn.8:56)
God’s promises to Abraham were miraculous in themselves! One would think that most would have been content by grabbing a chunk of land but not so. The impression of God’s words to Abraham were so strong that not only did he look for God’s city (vs.10) and the Messiah but also they had the same affect on his descendants for the rest of their lives. My dear friends, that is something! Secondly, God’s promises changed everyone’s view of themselves. They mirrored that they were “strangers” and “pilgrims” i.e. they viewed themselves as not being a natural born citizen of the land and could live along side of the inhabitants without becoming part of them.
In summary, consider the work of Christ, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”(Heb. 8:6) Although Abraham’s convictions were highly contagious, how much stronger ours should be! True Christians have encountered the Messiah and the eternal indwelling Spirit assures us of arriving in His celestial city one day!
We all need to examine ourselves – just how contagious is our faith?