Page 8 - May 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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an immigrant – we would call him today   means of introduction.) Those who are
        an Iraqi – and perhaps he had faced chal-  far from home might also appreciate an
        lenges of prejudice when he first reached   invitation to lunch.
        the land of his adoption. He warmly wel-  Be generous to those sitting at your table.
        comed the three men as guests.        Reciprocal meal invitations between

        An Open Hand – Generosity             longstanding friends are good but also
                                              benefit from being widened to include
          We are delighted by the swift trajectory   others outside the normal circle. Wives go
        of our story. From the provision first of-  to a lot of trouble providing tasty meals,
        fered in modest terms, Abraham hastily   but their husbands have a part to play as
        urged his wife, Sarah, to bake something   well. Abraham, at 99 years of age, did not
        substantial for his guests. He played his   sit back and let Sarah do it all.
        part too by quickly arranging for some   Be willing to invite others to stay overnight
        fresh and tender meat to be prepared   in your home. Truly, some strangers will
        for the guests. As the men ate, Abraham
        stood by while Sarah remained inside the   turn out to be “angels.” However, we
                                              also have a responsibility to protect our
        tent. One of the three men unexpectedly
        pronounced a blessing upon Sarah – she   spouses and children  from  any  harm
        would give birth to a male child! The One   or danger. There may be an element of
        who took the lead is considered to be the   risk. It helps when a husband and wife
        Lord Himself, a preincarnate appearance   have considered this together and are in
        of Christ in temporary human form (Gen   agreement about their response to the
        18:10,13-14).                         emergency needs of others.
          The guests must surely have departed   Be prepared for your kindness and hospital-
        with a favourable impression of their   ity to be abused. Many of us have stories
        hospitable hosts. Abraham accompanied   to tell of times we have been deceived.
        them on foot for a little distance (Gen   (The Gibeonites were masters in the art,
        18:16). We still do this in Africa, “opening   feigning distant origins and  stricken
        up the way” for our visitors.         circumstances, Joshua 9.) We recall that
          What can we learn from Abraham and   the Lord Jesus was well aware that some
        Sarah, even as we seek to serve God faith-  who followed Him were more interested
        fully in our very different culture? Sev-  in the physical – another free meal – than
        eral applicable lessons lie on the surface.   the spiritual (Joh 6:26). Do not stop being
        Further general points are also relevant   kind, whatever your past experiences.
        to life today.                          Be aware that God will bless you, even as
          Be friendly to strangers visiting your as-  you bless others. Abraham and Sarah were
        sembly. Any unknown stranger arriving at   shocked to receive affirmation of a divine
        the door is to be welcomed with a prompt   promise. It was not a reward, of course,
        and friendly greeting as they enter. They   for their hospitality. Nevertheless, it was
        should not be left standing alone in a cor-  God’s way of informing them of the an-
        ner. It is appropriate to make a few initial   swer to their fervent hopes and prayers of
        enquiries as to their circumstances. (In the   many years. What might they have missed
        case of a believer, a letter of commenda-  had they said they were too busy that day
        tion serves as a scriptural and respectful   to host the heavenly guests?

        136 TRUTH kTidings   May  2022
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