Abraham went to live in the land of promise. “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” (Heb. 11:9). Again, the emphasis is on the place of Abraham’s inheritance. But the place of Abraham’s inheritance is not the promised land. In v. 9, he lived “as in a foreign land, living in tents.” Abraham was not a permanent resident in the promised land. Rather, he was a resident alien, a foreigner. He was a temporary resident in the promised land.
Children touring a retirement home were asked by a resident if they had any questions. “Yes,” one girl said. “How old are you?”
“I’m 98,” she replied proudly.
Clearly impressed, the child’s eyes grew wide with wonder. “Did you start at one?”
Old people in the home for old people are perfect examples of temporary residents. They stay there temporarily. If you are a follower of Christ, you are a temporary resident in this earth. You are on temporary assignment on earth. You are a traveler just passing through. Peter said in 1 Pet. 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” We are merely sojourners and exiles in this earth. This world is not our home. We are but travelers on the way to the city of God.
One of my favorite illustrations on our traveler status on earth is that of the Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim.
An anonymous writer wrote about an American tourist’s visit to the 19th century Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim. Astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a bench, the tourist asked, “Rabbi, where is your furniture?”
“Where is yours?” replied the rabbi.
“Mine?” asked the puzzled American. “But I’m a visitor here. I’m only passing through.”
“So am I,” said Hofetz Chaim.
To live by faith is to see yourself as a temporary resident on earth. Don’t allow yourself to be tied down on this earth.
 Ruth Naylor, Reader’s Digest; “Old Age,” SermonIllustrations.com. Cited March 17, 2016. Online: http://www. sermonillustrations.com/a-z/o/old_ age.htm.
 “Just Passing Through,” Sermonsearch.com. March 17, 2016. Online: http://www.sermonsearch.com/sermon-illustrations/ 4264/ just-passing-through/.