“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Are You a Hebrew?, by Randall D. Kittle
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“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” — John 17:16

Genesis 14:13 tells us that when Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was taken captive and being led away, “Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew.” This is the first time the word “Hebrew” appears in the Bible. Scholars are in agreement that the word meant “stranger” or “alien.” Perhaps it was used of Abraham because he had left Ur of the Chaldeans and had gone into Canaan at God’s direction.

Abraham was a Hebrew … a stranger … an alien. Living by faith and for God, he stood alone. He did not mix with the people around him. He was separated because he was God’s man. He had met God, and had heard God’s voice. God had assured him of his future. He was Abraham, the Hebrew.

We Are Pilgrims & Strangers
In 1 Peter 2:11, Peter addresses believers also as “strangers and pilgrims.” Anyone who truly knows the demands of faith and is genuinely committed to the Christian life is both a pilgrim and a stranger in this world.

A pilgrim is generally a religious traveler who is determined to visit some holy place. They are never pictured as seeking some commercial gain. Pilgrims are intent upon a higher motive, and they keep traveling and seeking because they have not yet found that place they can call home. A pilgrim is one who is still moving toward their objective.

What, then, is a stranger? A stranger is one who has found a place of residence, but who cannot truly
consider himself a part of the new culture. They may be of another race and speak a different language. The culture that surrounds them is completely different from that which they have known and practiced.

God still requires those who follow Him to be “strangers and pilgrims” in this world. He yearns for those who will be “Hebrews” to the world so as to be set apart for Him. If we are genuine, committed Christians, intent upon walking by faith with our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will continually find ourselves confessing that we are pilgrims and that we are strangers!

We are to be like Abraham our spiritual forefather who
 “By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land … for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:9–10). For those who are “sons of Abraham,” the journey is still the same today. Christian pilgrims are journeying by faith from an old city that is cursed with the judgment of destruction to a blessed and eternal city where Immanuel dwells!

How about you and me? Are we comfortable and at home in this world, or do the ideals, goals, and purpose of our lives make it obvious to others that we are strangers in a foreign land? Are we pilgrims seeking God’s heavenly city, or are we content to merely be travelers seeing this world? … Are you a Hebrew?

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