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F a i t h   M a t t e r s  with Dr. Ken Lovelace


Home-Making in the Promised Land
Hebrews 11:9-10

NOTE: This devotional is a continuation of that which was introduced
in the previous devotional entitled: The Effect of Faith on the Home



Look at the next part of that sentence: "he made his home in the promised land." There are a couple of plays-on-words here.


The Promised Land is more correctly called the land of promise. In the original language, the difference has to do with the fact that his settling in the Promised Land implies that he had reached some promised land and by reaching it was taking it. The fact that he lived in tents is our first clue that this was not a taking but a living in as an alien.


In fact, Abraham never owned a parcel of land on which to live. The only land he owned was the burial place he bought for Sarah. The play on words is made more interesting when you add the "faith" phrase up front and the "made his home" phrase in the middle; it all comes together to give us a glimpse of the way we are told to live today: as aliens in a foreign land. In fact, the connection of verse 10 reminds us of where our real home lies. The writer of Hebrews adds: For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. He was especially looking forward to making his home with God in heaven, thus the idea of aliens in a foreign land. And if God could be trusted with constructing our eternal homes, He surely could be relied upon for direction in building our earthly ones.


By faith, Abraham made his home… On the mission field, we had an expression. "Unpack while you're here." Its meaning was very simple. If God has led you to serve somewhere, the only way you can truly live there, minister there, and be effective there is to unpack. The leaving of your things in trunks or suitcases worked against you subconsciously by leading you to adopt and operate from an outsiders' mindset. To unpack meant you jumped into the culture and into your ministry there with both feet and weren't afraid to get your hands dirty.


When the Bible says Abraham "made his home" there, it means he unpacked. He settled in, he made his abode, he stored the travel gear, set up tents, and became as permanent and settled as one could in tents. We are to do the same. We are to build our homes where God has placed us by unpacking in everything that that word means.


Too often we go into an apartment, a condo, or a neighborhood and, though we unpack physically, we never unpack emotionally and spiritually. We don't make our homes there, we don't get to know our neighbors, we don't reach out to anyone; we simply exist. That's not building a home and that's not healthy for our families.


After a horrible thunderstorm with high, damaging winds that knocked down everyone's fence, one man said, "Wow! This is great. I've lived here two years and have never met most of these people. We need to have more storms. "Hi, my name is Tom…" and he went off to meet and help more of his neighbors.


What if Abraham had thrown up a tent or two, left the travel bags on the camels, and told the family, "This is home?" He would have been sending conflicting messages. He made his home there. The home is the place where we unpack physically, spiritually, and emotionally, for the good of our families. If we don't, can we really call it home?


Next time we'll take a look at the logistical issue with which Abraham dealt as he made his home in the promised land.



Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.

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