Page 6 - May 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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t its most basic level, hospitality   or soup kitchens for the homeless.
               means having an open home. It    Thinking broadly, if we correctly discern
        Aalso implies having an open heart    the heart of our God, we learn that in the
        and an open hand to assist others, particu-  beginning He created a vast universe
        larly those who are needy and who may   in which was a small planet where He
        cross one’s path unexpectedly.        fashioned a perfect home for man. In the
          There is no specific Hebrew word    Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lacked
        for hospitality in the Old Testament;   nothing. Many years later, when the
        however, the concept and principles are   descendants of Abraham were set free
        clearly demonstrated. There are many   from bondage in Egypt, they wandered
        examples of those who hosted visitors in   as strangers for 40 years through an in-
        their homes and afforded them kindness:   hospitable wilderness. God’s presence and
        in patriarchal times, Abraham, Lot and   protection were evident on the journey, as
        Laban; later on, we read of Rahab, an old   was His provision of daily food and drink.
        man of Gibeah, the widow of Zarephath   However, He had prepared a promised
        and the Shunammite woman. Job is worth   land for this pilgrim nation, describing
        mentioning too (Job 31:32). Some of these   Canaan as “flowing with milk and honey.”
        hosts were poor; others took a risk in ac-  God was thus the perfect host, generously
        cepting strangers.                    providing for those who could never have
          In this brief study, the challenge will be   managed on their own.
        to look back to a Middle Eastern culture of   In the language of the Old Testament,
        four thousand years ago, and then deduce   the stranger (ger) was commonly a person
        scriptural lessons that are both practical   of another nationality who lived among
        and relevant to Christian testimony in   the Jews. To a large extent, they were in-
        the modern world. In those times of long   tegrated into the nation. They were often
        ago, visiting travelers were not stopped   initially poor, vulnerable, and dependent
        at borders and expected to produce the   upon others for support. They were not to
        appropriate visa along with proof of   be mistreated but shown hospitality and
        sufficient financial resources to support   care: “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger,
        themselves during their stay. There were   nor oppress him: for ye were strangers
        no cheap motels, convenience stores and   in the land of Egypt” (Exo 22:21) ; “But
        fast-food restaurants dotted along the   ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from
        highways. There were no drop-in centers   the KJV.

        134 TRUTH kTidings   May  2022
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