These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them…
I. THE POSSESSOR OF FAITH IS A STRANGER IN THE EARTH. What a change! In unbelief we were strangers to God (Ephesians 2:12). By faith strangers to world. Because —
1. We are now more sensible of our frailty. "Make me to know how frail I am."
2. Our Master was a stranger. His love made Him a stranger.
3. We, like Him, are born from above. Life Divine will re-seek its source. Sparks fly to sun.
4. The true Christian even now lives elsewhere. He is a non-conformist to the world. Thus an enigma.
II. THE LIFE OF FAITH IS A PILGRIMAGE ON THE EARTH.
1. A well-trodden path of pilgrimage.
2. A brief pilgrimage.
3. A pilgrimage in which we have an excellent guide.
III. THE EXPECTATION OF FAITH IS A COUNTRY BETTER THAN THE WORLD.
1. Heaven is our legal inheritance.
2. Heaven is our rest.
3. Heaven is our "city of foundations."
4. Heaven is the ultimate "place of assembly" of God's people.
IV. THE DUTY OF FAITH IS TO CONFESS THIS TO THE WORLD.
1. By word (ver. 14; Numbers 10:29).
2. By conduct.
(1) Let us not seek our happiness here.
(2) Let us be satisfied with our portion here. Enough for a journey.
(3) Let us remember that our way to heaven lies not only through duties of religion, but also through duties of our calling; self, families, fellow-men have demands, though subordinate.
(4) Let us look for a change of place.
(5) Let us fit ourselves for a change of place.
(R. S. Latimer.)
Parallel VersesKJV: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.