Ep.241: The Tent-Dwellers.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.

Hebrews 11 says:
  By faith Abraham,
      when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance,
      obeyed and went,
      even though he did not know where he was going.
  By faith he made his home in the promised land
      like a stranger in a foreign country;
      he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob,
            who were heirs with him of the same promise.
  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
      whose architect and builder is God (vv. 8-10). 

This passage contrasts Abraham’s moveable tent with the permanent city he was looking for, a city with foundations built by God. 

This picture appeals deeply to me: Abraham on his life journey, not knowing his destination, camping out, looking for a city to call home. I have tried to settle in my city and build foundations. But my settling is unsettled as the world changes around me. My neighborhood, at the edge of town when we moved in, is now surrounded on all sides by city. Our once reliable spring and fall seasons shift with the shifting climate. The beautiful and innocent babies we brought into the world are adults now, making complex choices in a morally confusing world. The body that served me well for years begins to recycle itself into dust. 

This is my tent. Perhaps not as temporary and moveable as Abraham’s tent, but my life is makeshift and transitory. 

The Gospel of John says that Christ was made flesh and pitched his tent among us. Was his tent the body he lived in for thirty-three years? Or is it a picture of Christ as an immigrant, far from his father’s country, living in a refugee camp with fishermen and housewives and tax collectors? 

All of us tent-dwelling refugees are looking for a city with foundations, for a life of permanence, for a fixed theology. But like the tower of Babel, our most solid constructions are makeshift and temporary, doomed to disintegrate in the river of time and the winds of change.

Let’s pray. 

Our father, like Abraham, we are strangers in a strange land.The old song says,
    This world is not my home,
      I’m just a-passing through. . . 

Abraham reminds us to pass through with faith. Faith that our small slice of time finds meaning in your eternity. Faith that our narrow plot of land is a gift from your creation. Faith that our little tent is your promise of an eternal home. Life is worth living, and death worth dying, because Jesus’ life and death give meaning to ours. As Paul said, when our earthly tent is destroyed, we will have a building from God, an eternal home in heaven, not built by human hands (2 Cor 5:1). 


I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.