By Faith the patriarchs believed
13 These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14 Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16 But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
“These all died in faith,” refers to the “offspring” of the previous verse, specifically those who were promised by God, meaning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the patriarchs. Yet, in the long run, they did not “receive” the things that were promised in the moment. They “all died in faith,” meaning that their lives were ruled by faith, even to the point of death. Although they did not receive the promise, they hoped and trusted that God would bless the future generations. Not only that, but they gladly accepted the nomadic lifestyle. “If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return,” meaning that they could have gone back to the comforts of their previous land, but instead, looked forward for a “a better place---a heavenly one.” Now, these men were not perfect and had their shortcomings, yet despite all this, due to their faithful lives, “God was not ashamed to be called their God.” As further proof of that sentiment, God “prepared a city for them,” where they are now eternally in His presence worshipping Him. It was through their faithful lives, through their genealogy, Christ would enter the world to provide the gift of salvation. Now, anyone who believes and has a relationship with Christ can be a part of His family.
Despite the struggles of being in a foreign land, constantly on the move, and the challenges of staying faithful in their relationship with God, although they did not immediately receive what was promised, these individuals were looking forward of the hope that was to come and remained faithful. In the end, they were blessed, receiving the promised eternal city, heaven. We should model faithful lives like these individuals, that, even through all the struggles and trials, even if we are not immediately saved from those present situations, we can hold on to the promise and future hope that when we leave this earth, we will be in a better place, free from pain and strife, and ultimately, in the presence of our God forever and ever, as seen in Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Isaac De Guzman