But neither here nor any of those other places compare to the real “God’s country.” God promised Abraham a land He later described to Moses as a good land and a large...a land flowing with milk and honey, Ex 3:8. Abraham’s descendants waited over 400 years for that Promised Land., but even Abraham knew that the real Promised Land was still to come. That is why he could endure, stay faithful, and even pass the horrible test of offering his son.
Paul had to scold the Corinthians more than once for having “carnal” minds. Not carnal in the sense of illicit pleasures, but carnal in that they were more concerned with this life and the physical aspects of it than in spiritual things. Only carnally minded people become jealous for showy spiritual gifts, sue one another, brag about who baptized them, and bring enough to feed an army for their family’s Lord’s Supper, just so they can show off. Too often we, too, get caught up in the here and now and forget that this is merely a short motel stop on the way to a far better and permanent home.
Today would have been the 91st birthday of a man who understood that. I first met him a week before I married his son. He never lived in a fancy home or had an expensive car. He often worked two jobs to keep his family fed. He landed on the shores of Northern France in June 1944 and marched all the way to Berlin. He buried a ten year old daughter who had been stricken with a horrible disease. But he would have told you he lived a good life because he knew the physical doesn’t last. His eyes were focused elsewhere, and nothing that happened here could get him down.
We should all learn what he knew: no place on this earth should mean more to us, no person should come between us, and no thing should ever deter us from our journey to God’s Country.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance, and he went out, not knowing where he went. By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise, for he looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God…they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one, wherefore God is not ashamed of them to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:8-10, 16.