A Heart for Hospitality
Title: A Heart for Hospitality
Reading for January 5: Genesis 16-18
He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant."
Romans 12:13 says that we should seek to show hospitality. The word "seek" literally means to "to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after." (Thayer's)
Abraham showed this kind of eagerness in entertaining strangers in this chapter. We read here that he "ran" to meet these guests (v 2). When they accepted his offer of hospitality, we read that he "went quickly" to tell Sarah and then told her, "Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes" (v 6). Abraham then "ran" to the herd and then the men prepared the calf "quickly" (undoubtedly because of Abraham's insistence that they be quick, v 7).
Do I get this excited when I see opportunities to show hospitality? Or am I in need of Peter's exhortations to practice hospitality "without grumbling" (1 Pet 4:9)?
If I knew I was entertaining angels I would be as eager as Abraham. Of course, Abraham didn't know he was hosting heavenly guests (Heb 13:2). I take that to mean that Abraham's behavior in this story was not extraordinary. This was a true reflection of his character. What we're witnessing was his default reaction to strangers.
What is my default? Is it to grumble and complain? Or is it to eagerly and humbly rejoice in opportunities to help others in need?
Father, give me a servant's heart like Abraham!