For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.I just love the Bible. It pops out and gets you sometimes! The other night, I was laying in bed with my wife just chatting about stuff (we couldn't get to sleep) and I was thinking about a discussion I've had in the past with certain people about Abraham and his Sanctification and Justification. I've dealt with that quite a few times, though those who fight with me about it never seem to get it, but that's fine: I can go over it again sometime.
Anyhow, I was thinking about Hebrews 11 and its relationship to Romans 4, and I couldn't remember whether Hebrews 11 said "foundation" or "foundations." Now, to the average Christian, that wouldn't make a bit of difference. However, to the avid Bible Believer, that changes everything! That single "s" means that Abraham wasn't looking for any old city: he was looking for the New Jerusalem!! I got really excited when I saw that: here's Abraham, in 1200+ BC, looking for the New Jerusalem that STILL hasn't shown up!
You might be thinking, "doesn't that create a big problem for you Dispensationalists that don't think Abraham was saved by grace through faith plus nothing else?" Well...nope. See, WE know that that is what Abraham was looking for. After the fact, when Hebrews was written, God revealed it to the author of that book and in turn to us. But, where does it say that Abraham knew what he was looking for? Hmm, good question! If you look through the Old Testament, almost every passage deals with physical blessing and curses; only Psalms and the Prophets really get deep into spiritual stuff. Why? Because the jews look for a sign! The Jews have ALWAYS been a sight-oriented people. They want to SEE something before they believe it. (sounds like Missouri!)
Basically, Abraham was just following God around, going where He said to go, doing what He said to do. He never found anything, and according to Hebrews 11, what he was looking for (whether he knew it or not) wasn't even around to be found!! God gave the promises to Abraham then, which he took as physical blessing, but in fact God was looking toward the day when the Jews will be given an enormous inheritance among the people of the earth! In fact, it's not Abraham's physical descendants that will inherit the New Jerusalem: it's the Church, the SPIRITUAL children of Abraham that will live in the New Jerusalem!
It never ceases to amaze me how deep and complex the Bible is! I can't wait to get to Heaven and know the mind of God....that thought is almost enough to fry your brain!!