WHEN WE FINALLY GET HOME                                                                                                Andy Hollifield 12-27-17

Genesis 24:64-65 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, when she saw Issac, she lighted off the camel. (65) For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.

Genesis 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointest the pillar, and where thou vowest a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

Genesis 31:18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.

Ruth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.

Luke 15:18-19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

I received some sad news on Tuesday about a little boy I had been a big brother to back in the ’80’s. I talked to his mom for the first time in several years and found out he had died several years ago. I thought about him and also about my dad, and how good it was going to be to one day pass through those gates of pearl and never to have separation again. Never having to say goodbye or hear that anyone has died. I thought about how wonderful that was going to be to make that crossing into eternal bliss except for our judgment. I had also heard this week about a man I had went to church with years ago that had died suddenly of an apparent massive stroke. I also heard Christmas day about an uncle that the hands of time were taking their toll on and I realized again that nothing would ever be like it used to be. Thinking about all of that just got me to thinking about the flip side that we will enjoy when we get home.

As I thought about this, I realized that there were several examples in the bible of people who wanted to return home or go to a land they had never been to and call it home. I thought about Rebekah and how even though she had never laid eyes on Isaac, I believe she had a longing to be where he was. I personally think that on her journey to Issac, she had probably asked the servant all about him. She had probably asked all about the family and may have even been told what the master’s son looked like. By the time she got there, she had an even greater desire to see him and just to be where he was because of all she had heard about him on her journey from a far country. If that isn’t a picture of the rapture of the church than I don’t know one. The more I hear about the Master’s Son, the more I want to get where he is. I know that I have a course to run in my life but the more I learn about him and that land, the more anxious I get about being there. I have thought a lot about it since 1973 when the Master spoke to me about his Son and I accepted him as my Savior. And the older I get, the more I look forward to getting there.

I can only imagine how Jacob must have felt when the bottom fell out of his world and he found himself in a situation of getting to go back home. After all those years and after having his wages changed ten times, finally the Lord told him he could go home. Can you imagine what he must have been thinking when he got back to Bethel and saw that rock he had used for a pillar and then made into an altar all those years ago? I can about tell you what he was thinking. He was probably thinking about how it had been worth every step just to get to go home. Along with being afraid I would imagine there was a certain awkward feeling at the prospects of having to face his brother and then to maybe even face his dad after having deceived him because of his blindness and stolen the birthright all those years before.

Then if you look at Ruth 1 you have to wonder how Naomi felt when she walked through the gates of the city after leaving for greener pastures years before. Now after the loss of her family, here she was back again when things were good again, along with a heathen girl at her side, I am sure she felt all the stares but she didn’t care. All those times she had wondered how things were at home and what was it like since she had been gone. Now, she had finally arrived and it was as wonderful as she had hoped it would be. As for the heathen girl Ruth, she found a warm welcome in the land of God’s people, Bethlehem Judah also.

Finally, in Luke we have the story of the prodigal son. We all know the story and how the youngest son wasted all his father had worked for and also how when reality set in and all the money was gone and all the friends and big times were gone; he realized how good he had it at home. Here he was in a hog pen after having completely turned his back on all that he had been raised to believe, he finally came to himself. He decided to go back where he had it made and just beg his dad to let him be one of his servants. Yet when he returned home and submitted himself to his father, instead of a boot across the back of the neck as a sign of being dominant over a servant, he his father fell on his neck and kissed him. While he was still smelling like the hog pen he had just left, he father took him back in as a son and rejoiced greatly because he was back.

I find myself in all of these stories. I am the one that has heard so much about the Father’s Son, that I just want to be where he is and am anxiously awaiting getting to set my eyes on him for the first time. I have also been the crooked one that had the blessings of God unjustly. I have never been able to deceive the Lord but he has certainly blessed me many times that I didn’t deserve. I have behaved in ways at times that has no doubt brought shame to my God but he has allowed me to come back to him even though I may always bear the marks of my time in sin. I have also been that one that left for greener pastures only to later return empty and broken but God has always took me in blessed me even when my life has not been pleasing to him. Also, I have been the one that the one that wasted the blessings that God had given me only to try to run with the world only to look around and not have any that I had thought were my friends. I am glad that he sticketh closer than a brother.

All of these stories except the one about Rebekah, have one thing in common. They had all been in their homes and left and paid the price for sin and returned. Rebekah had never been there but was anxiously looking for her groom. We have a wonderful God that forgives and then blesses when we come and repent and takes us back into the fold. It will all be worth what we’ve been through just to be where he is. That is what we all have to look forward to when we finally get home. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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