Topic: Living in Tents – “Our Daily Bread Devotional” [Sunday September 24th, 2017].
Scripture: From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent. Genesis 12:8
Read: Genesis 12:4–9
Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 4–5; Galatians 3
Growing up in Minnesota, a place known for its many beautiful lakes, I loved to go camping to enjoy the wonders of God’s creation. But sleeping in a flimsy tent wasn’t my favorite part of the experience—especially when a rainy night and a leaky tent resulted in a soggy sleeping bag.
I marvel to think that one of the heroes of our faith spent a hundred years in tents. When he was seventy-five years old, Abraham heard God’s call to leave his country so the Lord could make him into a new nation (Gen. 12:1–2). Abraham obeyed, trusting that God would follow through on His promise. And for the rest of his life, until he died at 175 (25:7), he lived away from his home country in tents.
We may not have the same call as Abraham did to live nomadically, but even as we love and serve this world and the people in it, we may long for a deeper experience of home, of being rooted here on earth. Like Abraham, when the wind whips our flimsy covering or the rain soaks through, we can look with faith for the city to come, whose “architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). And like Abraham, we can find hope that God is working to renew His creation, preparing a “better country—a heavenly one” to come (v. 16).
Lord God, You are our shelter and our foundation. May we trust You in the big things and small.
Abraham is included in the list in Hebrews 11 of those who were “commended for their faith,” but did not receive “what had been promised” (v. 39). This chapter is a reminder that the only way to live and to please God is by faith (v. 6). Those living by faith were those who chose to live as “foreigners and strangers on earth”—people who had refused to return to the life they had left behind and who “[longed] for a better country—a heavenly one” (vv. 13–16).
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we “are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (Eph. 2:19).
Ponder the way Jesus changed our status from foreigners and strangers to citizens of heaven and God’s children.