But I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth;
among a great crowd I will praise God!
Because God stands right next to the needy,
to save then from any who would condemn them.
(Psalm 109:30-31, Common English Bible)
We read about our predecessors to learn about ourselves. Their experiences serve as examples and as reminders for us. Hebrews gives us the opportunity to think about faith.
Thomas G. Long has written a commentary on Hebrews as part of the Interpretation series. He stresses that faith not only has an inward reality but that it also has an outward force:
Faith required a deep trust in the One who was sending him.
Abraham obeyed God, setting out for a destination without having to first know exactly where it was or what it was going to take to get there.
The journey of faith was dislocating.
And even when things did not seem to be turning out as Abraham had hoped, he continued to anticipate what had been promised.
For survival on the faith journey they were utterly dependent upon God for provisions along the way.
We who have descended from him continue to travel towards a promised home, continue to travel through a land that is foreign to us, continue to travel toward a city prepared for us. (Yes, we get it that the writer of Hebrews is being metaphorical here).
Long sums up:
Though the path was often mysterious and the travelers sometimes wondered where they would get the energy to go on, this journey's destination was never in doubt.
God will bring justice.
Greeting a neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning
will be viewed as a curse. (CEB)
Prayer for Today: O Lord our God, deepen our trust in you. Strengthen our faith. Give us the courage to follow the path you have laid out for us. Remind us you will be with us as we travel that journey. Amen.