"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10).
Although Christopher Columbus is sometimes criticized today, he did accomplish a great work contributing vitally to the blessings we ourselves now enjoy. Columbus's written testimonies tell us that he indeed was a sincere Christian believer who felt he was accomplishing God's will in opening the "new world" to the message of Christianity. In one sense, he--like the ancient patriarchs--"went out, not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8) because he believed God had called him to do so.
About 4000 years before Columbus, Abraham and his descendants also went out to another land whose first settlers had also abandoned the God of their first fathers. As the Scripture reveals, the pagan nations all once "knew God" (Romans 1:21) (through their father Noah) until the scattering of the rebelling families at Babel "upon the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:9). Since then, however, they had all been worshipping the various aspects of the creation "more than the Creator" who therefore eventually "gave them up" (Romans 1:25,24). Like the times assigned to the ancient Babylonians and Amorites and many others, the "times before appointed" (Acts 17:26) to the Indian nations had apparently run out, and God was about to establish new nations that hopefully would honor the person and work and message of His Son.
It could well be that Columbus--like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--was thinking of the same "better country, that is, an heavenly" (Hebrews 11:16) that motivated these patriarchs so long ago. We today, who live gratefully in one of those new nations that resulted from Columbus's faith, should remember that we also are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13) and should still be looking for that city "whose builder and maker is God." HMM