For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
A young man at a university was expounding to me his beliefs about the end of the world. He was very excited and convincing in his arguments that the end was coming soon and that we should get ready. He was explaining to me that there will soon be an economic collapse which will cause a downright breakdown of society; that seismic activities also were on the rise and that we should learn to survive without modern conveniences. He was showing me that it was all in the Bible and that there was nothing we could do about it. When the conversation shifted gear, I asked him what he was presently studying. He said he was going for some sort of law degree in economics. This is the point I stopped listening.
This man may have been right in his conjectures I do not know, but whatever our beliefs may be, our arguments seem very hypocritical when our lifestyle projects direct opposite values and rhetoric. If this young man believed that the whole social and economic system was on the brink of collapse and that there was nothing he or I could do about it, why in the world was he going for a long set of studies on economics? Why doesn’t his lifestyle reflect his rhetoric?
We are taught in Scriptures that we are all in exile here. That our true home is in the ‘World to Come’, when all is restored the way it should be; that we are really here like the Children of Israel in the desert. As believers, we are actually like Abraham who was told to leave his home looking for a 'better place'. We believe this but how much do we live it?
Do we live like we are settling down in this world? Do we take part of its Canaanite culture? Do we let its influence shape our thinking? Do we get weighed down with extra unnecessary baggage which makes our journey heavy? Or do we live the lifestyle of the passing through pilgrim?
Here is a story about a poor Rabbi; I forgot his name. This Rabbi was so poor he had nothing in his house, just some straw he used for a bed. One day as he was visiting a wealthy neighbor, his host challenged his poverty and said, “But Rabbi, is it wrong for us to own things or to be comfortable?” The Rabbi said, “Of course not; King Solomon was the richest man on earth, but let me ask you a question now, ‘Do you always travel with all your things?’ “Of course not”, replied the host, “when I do, I usually travel light; but I am home now’. To the wise Rabbi then answered, “Aaah, but I am not home yet!”
Are you ‘home’?