A Study of Hebrews 11 – Part 4
“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 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. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better ountry, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:11-16
Sarah is often remembered for doubting that Abraham would be able to have children at his advanced age, and that she laughed in unbelief and incredulity when the angels told Abraham he would indeed have a child with Sarah. But she is commended here for her faith to believe God that indeed she could conceive at the age of 86 and she did. So even though they both were well past the age of child bearing she gave birth to Isaac, she at 86 and Abraham at 96. Now all these, Abraham, Sarah and Noah were given a promise of a Savior to come, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, but they all died not seeing the fullness of that day. But they embraced and believed the promise of God by faith and acted accordingly all the days of their lives. They were persuaded and confident of the day that would come and they did not waver in passing along the covenant of promise to their heirs.
They were seeking a new country and new world, a new citizenship where they would be with God forever. They did not long for the old country out of which God called them. Noah did not pine for the world he lived in before the flood. Nor did Abraham and Sarah seek to return to Ur of the Chaldees. If they had longed for the world they had before God revealed Himself to them they could have possibly returned there and missed the greatest blessing of all time.
God had revealed Himself to them and their hearts were fixed on Him and Him alone trusting that all He said and all that He promised was true even before they would see it.
Now we have the seal of the Holy Spirit to keep our focus not in this world but always mindful of that which is to come. They did not receive the promise while they lived on earth because God had a better covenant reserved for us to share together with them through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. But it was their faith acting in union with God that kept the lineage of the Messiah moving until Jesus was born in Bethlehem for the saving of the world.
None of us can see the future, but we live with confidence in God by faith knowing that He holds the future and us in place for the fulfillment of His purpose and promise. We don’t always know how we are furthering His cause, but we walk by faith and not by sight, in obedience to His Word trusting His love, His care and His provision.