He Looked  —  We Look

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Listen from:
"He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Heb. 11:10. "We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:20).
To the natural man Abraham's action may have appeared foolish indeed. From what may have been a prosperous and comfortable life in Ur of the Chaldees, "he went out, not knowing whither he went" (Heb. 11:8). To prefer a nomadic to a settled life; to exchange certainty for apparent uncertainty; to give up all title to citizenship in this world would probably seem altogether inexplicable.
Abraham, however, was in "the secret of the LORD" which "is with them that fear Him" (Psalm 25:14). He had been called by "the God of glory" (Acts 7:2). He had been promised something that was stable and enduring. The secret of his strange step, his simple life, his sincere faith, and his steadfast devotion was, as our text indicates, that "He looked for a city." The city of God was the goal of his soul, and the prospect of reaching that, governed and controlled every detail of his life. He resolutely refused to have anything here. If he musts needs have a burying place for his dead, he paid for it; if it was a case of receiving favor from the world, he declined it.
SEPARATION from all that was inimical to the new path characterized him; and even when this involved the separation of Lot from him, he did not deviate from the course upon which he had entered.
It might mean privation, pain of heart, and perplexity as to the next step, but with the city of God in view he went steadily forward. Well content was he to be a stranger and a pilgrim here, to sit loose to everything in this ever-changing world, because "He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Now, we look not for a place, but for the Person. "WE LOOK FOR THE Savior" (Phil. 3:20). Called out as was Abraham; called with a "heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1); having to pass through this world to which we no longer belong; with no portion, no place, and no prospect here, "We look for the Savior." He is our treasure, and where He is, our affections, our interests, our hopes, and our desires are all centered. Not only have we not got any place here, but we do not desire any place here, because He is not here. Hence the significance of our last text -"our conversation," or citizenship, or commonwealth "is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior." Our realization of this will at once secure our separation from the world.
SEPARATION follows our apprehension of our heavenly calling, just as surely as day follows night. Observe! It is separation from the world, religiously, socially, politically, and in every shape and form. With such an Object before us, with such a goal to which to reach forward, with such a glorious Person for whom to look, we tread our pilgrim path, well content to be reckoned strangers, esteeming it an honor to suffer reproach, knowing that the end will more than compensate for all the vicissitudes of the journey.
"We look for the Savior."
How this cheers the spirit, warms the heart, and quickens the step. We rise in the morning to plow the fresh furrow of a new day, and we know not what the day may have in store for us; but "We look for the Savior." We lay ourselves down to rest at night, and ruminating on the experiences of the day, we may be sad or glad; but whichever it be, gazing forward, "We look for the Savior," and our hearts rejoice. We have met some dear Christians who are looking for the undertaker; some are looking for a rejuvenated world to follow the death agonies of war—vain hope -"We look for the Savior."
May we reproduce this exquisite passage from a very excellent and trustworthy translation?
"For our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to His body of glory, according to the working of the power which He has even to subdue all things to Himself." Phil. 3:20-21; J.N.D. Trans. A new body-like His own. No more pain, dear suffering saint- beyond the reach, the power, and the fear of death; no more death, bereaved fellow believer; no more unlovely ways, for we shall be in all respects like Him. We shall have "a new name," we shall sing "a new song," and we will understand in a very real way the meaning of His announcement, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5).
Are we wearied, discouraged, feeling the way long, and the road rough? Are we tempted at times to let the hands hang down, and the knees become feeble? "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee." Pro. 4:25. "We look for the Savior"—perhaps today. Let us wake in the morning with the glad exclamation on our lips; let us go through the day with this as sweet music in our hearts; let us retire to rest at night with this to smooth our pillow, "WE LOOK FOR THE Savior."
"We 'look' for Thee—Thou wilt arise
Whilst hope her watch is keeping;
Forgotten then in glad surprise,
Shall be our years of weeping.
Our hearts beat high, the dawn is nigh,
That ends our pilgrim story
In Thine eternal glory."