By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Comment: This almost unbelievable story is at the base of Judaism and, if/as Jesus is the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham by God, of Christianity also. Abraham was called from a pagan background to establish a region for God. In spite of the difficulties and, no doubt sometimes the temptation to leave the hardship and go back to the established thriving way of life, he and Sarah clung on. The delightful fulfilment was in an old age pregnancy and the beginning of the nation of Israel. Isaac, the promised heir and his son Jacob followed in the same way.
There is a lot of history between them and the official occupation of their promised land but they continued until death believing that God would fulfill His promises. Maybe the end of these few verses indicated that they hoped for more than just the land of Canaan. They were looking to a heavenly land.
Prayer: If I believe You are calling me to do something, please help me to persevere until the end.