But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Heb. 11.16)
William Perkins, A cloud of faithfull witnesses, leading to the heauenly Canaan, or, A commentarie vpon the 11 chapter to the Hebrewes:
To be called their God
Observe here further that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could all of them say, God is my God. Now that which these worthy patriarchs could say of themselves, we must every one of us in our own persons labour for; for their example is and must be a rule for us to follow. We therefore must labour for this assurance, by God’s grace to say as the holy patriarchs did say, The true Jehovah is my God; and of this I am resolved, and undoubtedly assured in mine own confidence.
Question: How shall we be able to say unfeignedly that God is my God? Answer: By becoming His servants and people in deed and truth; for to him who is one of God’s people, God is always his God. But how shall we become God’s true servants? Answer: By setting our hearts upon the true God, and giving them wholly unto Him and to His service; and restraining ourselves from all occasions of sin, because sin displeaseth Him.
Question: But how shall a man set his heart wholly on God? Answer: This he doth when he loveth Him above all, and feareth Him above all, and above all things is zealous for God’s glory; when he hath full confidence in God’s Word and promises, and is more grieved for displeasing God than for all things in the world besides. Or more plainly thus: when a man doth set his heart on God, when his heart is so affected, that when God commands, he is always ready to obey. So the Lord saith (Hos. 2:23), I will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. And in the psalms the Lord saith (Psa. 27:8), Seek ye my face; then the holy man’s heart as an echo giveth answer, I seek thy face, O God. And such an one is the heart of him that is indeed the servant and child of God, and one of God’s people.
For He hath prepared for them a city
These words are a reason of the former, proving that God was not ashamed to be called their God, because He prepared a city for them. And indeed, this shews evidently that God was greatly delighted with them, rather than ashamed of them; for had he been ashamed of them, He would have shut them out of His presence. Herein therefore He declared His love and favour, that by preparing this city, He procured that they should live in His sight for evermore.
Hence we learn that he which hath God for his God, hath all things with Him, according to the common proverb, Have God, and have all. And on the contrary, lack God, and lack all. And therefore David saith (Psa. 144:15), Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.