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Abraham, a Foreigner in his own land

By George H. Warnock


      As we begin to walk a little in God's Way, so do we begin to identify with the people of the Way in the Bible. Now we can understand Abraham a little more. He had entered into the land that God had given him. He had walked through the length of it and through the breadth of it. But still something within cried out, "This is good, but I am not satisfied..." And why could he not be satisfied? Because God would not let him be satisfied... because God would enlarge his vision. In the seed and in the promise of blessedness that he had received from God there lay dormant a germ of something far, far greater that God desired to unfold to him. And therefore all this weary wandering through the land of promise was necessary in order that this germ of promise might blossom forth into something vastly different and vastly more glorious than a nice piece of real estate. As Abraham fretted over unfulfilled promises it is evident he saw little of what God really had in mind. Nevertheless God was faithfully leading him in pathways of obedience that would elevate his vision and cause this man of faith to look beyond the little land in which he walked. If we walk in God's ways this invariably happens. The prize of His promises soon gives way to higher things, better things, more heavenly things. Abraham soon discovered that he didn't really belong there... even in beautiful Canaan. He was but "a stranger and a sojourner" (Genesis 23:4). Hebron must have been very wonderful ...but still Abraham was not at home. He was a foreigner in his own land! He began to look for a better City, a "better country, that is, a heavenly." The real City for which he looked had "foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God." (See Hebrews 11:10, 16.) The nations God promised went far beyond the ones that would spring from Ishmael and Isaac. "The WORLD" would become his inheritance, as the true "Seed" was implanted in the hearts of men all over the earth. (See Romans 4:13; Galatians 3:16, 28, 29.) The "City" that he looked for would one day descend upon the earth. And one day Abraham will stand at the head of the line and will look upon his Seed which has sprung forth out of every tribe, and kindred, and tongue, and nation, and people. There will be the red, and the yellow, and the black, and the white. And Abraham will be able to say, "These are my children, for they have my faith." Then Abraham will step to one side and take his place with the rest, and Jesus will include his father Abraham in the company of His own sons (for "instead of thy fathers shall be thy children," Psalms 45:16). And Jesus will say, "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel," (Isaiah 8:18)... a people who are the Seed of Abraham, because "That Seed is Christ" --whether they be from the various countries of Europe, Russia, India, or the little remnant from the land of Israel and the Arabic nations surrounding them, or the people of China, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or North and South America.., but the list is getting too numerous to mention. Let us just put it this way: "For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation," (Revelation 5:9). Peoples from the far north and the far south... from the far east and the far west. If they truly believe in Christ, then are they "the Seed of Abraham, and heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:29).

      As citizens of this country or that, we all recognize the natural barriers that exist between men of different cultures and different racial backgrounds. But God, looking upon mankind with His own standard of righteousness and glory, and with the judgments of the Cross in view, declares: "THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:22, 23). As Christians let us stop wasting our efforts trying to rebuild the walls of partition that God tore down at the awful expense of the Cross. For God is totally committed to the judgments of the Cross whether nationalistic segments of mankind are or not.

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