“But, now they desire a better country, that is, a Heavenly (one); wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God—for He has prepared for them a City.” 

Hebrews 11:16

It’s be more beautiful than anything we can imagine (I Cor. 2:9).

Heaven.  The New Jerusalem.

Although Abraham’s beliefs in the afterlife were different than ours, today’s Manna reminds us that they were still just like ours with regards to “desiring something better.”  The Greek word “oregomai” is used here for “desire” and also means “to stretch one’s self forward, to reach after, long for, covet after, etc.”  Thus, it was more than a fleeting fancy or shallow want.

It was an intense longing. . .“hungering and thirsting after” like one who’s about to perish… an incessant, insatiable craving. . .an itch that can’t be scratched. . .a deep pining that can’t be ignored, etc.  His journey of faith may have been much more nomadic than ours, but his longing “for a City that has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God” (Heb. 11:10) is the same among the Redeemed in every generation.

Yes, all around us we see the “Great Not Yet” (Heb. 2:8b).

Incompleteness.  Perplexing situations.  Injustice.  Temporal, transient “treasures.”  Fleeting friendships.  Graft and corruption.

All combining to create pining and groaning within us (Ps. 73; Rom. 8:18-22; Jn. 11:33, 38).

That’s why today’s Manna is such a beautiful, precious one.

How wonderful to know “God is not ashamed to be called our God” and “Jesus isn’t ashamed to call us His own” (Heb. 2:11b).  Likewise, how comforting to know that He has “prepared a City for us.  A City ‘not made with hands, eternal in the heavens’” (II Cor. 5:1).

And, when we read the various descriptions of that foursquare City with its “streets of gold… a crystal-clear river flowing through the center of it. . .and the tree of life with 12 kinds of fruits and healing in its leaves along its banks” (Rev. 21:9-22:2). . .we can’t keep from singing “Beulah Land, I’m longing for you, And some day on thee I’ll stand, There my Home shall be eternal, Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.”  Hallelujah!!

With all that’s going on around you right now, Pilgrim, aren’t you getting increasingly “homesick for Heaven”?  As you see our world falling faster and faster into moral decay, where man’s inhumanity to man increases daily, don’t you yearn for that Place Jesus is preparing even now (Jn. 14:1-3).

You should be.

And, we should be doing all we can to take as many others with us as we can.  Contrary to popular belief, as someone said, “Heaven’s still sweet and hell’s still hot.”  And, as someone else said, “Eternity’s too long to be wrong.”  So true, so true.

Therefore, as the song says, “Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky.  Lift up your head, Redemption draweth nigh.”  Soon the Trumpet will sound and the Lord shall descend to take us Home.  Won’t that be a wonderful Day?  Are you ready?!?

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 30, 2011

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