Heaven’s Hospitality

Long before the writer of Hebrews penned that little verse in 13:2, “Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” there was Abe and Sarah.

And long before God said, “Abraham kill me a son,” and long before Abe said, “Where d’ya want this killin’ done?”… (see Bob Dylan for more of that), there was a homeless man throwing a party for Strangers trespassing on his camp.

Yes.  Abraham was rich.  That is true.  And I am reminded of it frequently when I sit in Bible class with white, middle-class, American Christians wishing to justify their wealth (greed).

But Abe was also homeless and living in tents as a drifter (Gen. 12:1; Acts 7:1-7).  The Bible never uses the word “homeless” per se, but, depending on your translation, you might find the word “sojourner” which approximates with “homeless” quite well.  And we find the people of God, Abe’s children, start out their relationship with God as sojourners – homeless people – living in a land not their own, gaining privilege on some occasions, but having no rights most of the time.  Stripped down to utter dependence on God whether in wealth or poverty.  St. Paul understands this and lives out his life and mission accordingly, as we see from Philippians 4:10-13.  So, homelessness has a blessed side to it that seems to go unnoticed in those white, middle-class American Bible classes I have been attending all my life.  Since the poor are rich in faith (James 2:5), homelessness is fertile territory for finding God!

So, this homeless man, Abe, rich though he may be, suddenly sees three Strangers trespassing on the front lawn of his squatter’s camp.  And what does this hero of the faith do?

He throws a PARTY!

A huge party!

Yeah, in addition to the fatted calf preparations, that order Abe gives Sarah in Genesis 18:6 about “three seahs of flour”?  That is roughly the equivalent of 21 quarts of flour for the bread!  Seven quarts-worth per Stranger!!!

Quite a party for three homeless Strangers you only just met trespassing on your front yard, wouldn’t you agree???

Like bread from heaven or something…

Now…

Sit down and read Genesis 18:1-20 carefully.  You will find that the writer of Genesis tells us, the readers, Who this band of Strangers really is: This is the LORD, God.  But Abe does not recognize these “Strangers” – these angels – and merely addresses them as “Lord” or “Sir.”

Angels of God, The Angel OF GOD -even, and Abe does not realize exactly Who is at his door!  He entertains angels unawares!

What does Abe see?

“Strangers” trespassing!

This homeless man sees fellow homeless men.  And what does he do?  This man of FAITH?  This rich man, by whom my white, middle-class, American brothers justify their own wealth???

He insists that this “Stranger” stop and PARTY with him!

Sounds strange.  No?

But it’s all right there in the Bible.

And the promise God has already made to him is reiterated at the party!  Something special is revealed there!  In the festivities!!  A blessing imparted!!!

Do you, dear reader, have the eyes to see?

Do NOT neglect hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares!!!!

You might have read that somewhere….

And this is not just some strange anomaly in “the scheme of redemption” either.  This is an important feature of the Bible.  You were meant to read and meditate on these Scriptures where such matters begin to take hold of your heart, mind, and strength.

You will notice that by virtue of hospitality to strangers, Lot and his family are saved, and Rehab the whore is saved!  Yes, SAVED!

And you will find that throwing the PARTY of heaven for fellow sojourners in a fallen world is right at the core of your calling as a Christian and as a church (Deut. 14:28-29; Luke 14:12-14; Acts 2:46; I Cor. 11:26).  You will find that Blessing and Revelation are awaiting those who “share hospitality” or PARTY with God and “strangers” (Exod. 24:9-11; Luke 24:13-35; I Cor. 11:26).

Who knew the PARTY and the welcome of STRANGERS could be so central to the faith?

Certainly not those white, middle-class, American churches justifying their wealth to themselves while throwing a lock on the church-house door!

This is a knock on that door!

(Rev. 3:20)

19 comments

  1. Agent X · September 22, 2019

    Ohhh…. I know…. Huh???

    You look at me, Agent X, and you see a bum claiming to knock on your door. You think: This is just a disgruntled nut. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is a nobody.

    Yes.

    You are correct.

    And I am a nobody standing up not only for NOBODIES, but for the Jesus you find among them (Matt. 25:40).

    I do not speak my own words to you. I do only what I see the Father doing. I speak only His words to you. Yet you refuse to listen!

    What do you think LOVE is?

    Do you think LOVE is a Ph.D. professor in Bible telling you this so that you can finally be persuaded? Do you think LOVE is a government mandate, forcing your hand to do God’s will despite your own wishes?? Do you think LOVE is giving to the poor ONLY if Mammon says it’s a good ROI???

    Or is LOVE doing for others what you would have done to you, and doing it for God, for neighbor, for enemy and other unlovables??? Is Love taking up a cross and not being overly concerned about where the money and your personal security will wind up inn the process????

    Oh, I know you chafe hearing it from me. You already told me I can scream at the top of my voice, that you are not listening. I heard you.

    And so did God.

    Repent!

    Or show me where I am wrong.

    I beg you.

    X

    Liked by 3 people

  2. T. F. Thompson · September 22, 2019

    Reblogged this on Hard Times Ministries and commented:
    And then again, maybe you’re NOT so bad after all

    Liked by 1 person

  3. T. F. Thompson · September 22, 2019

    It’s our ‘friends’ hammering away at us, defining us and telling us who we are. They did the same to Jesus as we all know, and we can see what His friends did to Him. They hung him on a Cross and now praise Him after what they have done to Him. They nailed Jesus and won’t be happy either until they finish us off and once again, with our blood on the ground they can say how truly sorry they really are.

    Like

  4. T. F. Thompson · September 22, 2019

    And too, when they are thrown out they ask< "Does that mean we're not pals?" And of course, everyone would say, "It's nothing personal." Throwing someone out is NEVER person except to the person being thrown out. And too, the truth is, No, we're not Pals. In fact we are hated and that's how it will remain. And the really sad part is that when we ask for help they say, "Call us when you die." Only in America.

    Like

    • Agent X · September 23, 2019

      I notice something missing from the Genesis 18:1-20 passage. Something perhaps the Holy Spirit just FORGOT to include???

      Yeah, these bums show up on Abe’s door step, and long before Abe feeds them and sends them on there way, he drug tests them to determine their SNAP eligibility, puts them through special job training programs.

      Now, of course it is clear Abe DID NOT give God any cash on this occasion (probably he read When Helping Hurts and Toxic Charity, so he knows better), but since they are hungry and in need, he gives them – ahem God – a micro loan at a very affordable interest rate!

      Actually, it is all in there. You gotta know a little Hebrew and Greek to get it, but it’s there between the lines. Certainly, Abe ain’t given God no free rides here! That is clear, and it is THE LESSON we Christians should take away from this!

      You know, come to think of it, I bet Abe paid $30 to take that Seeking Shalom course at church last year. That is probably how he knew what to do in this situation!!!

      Yeah!

      THAT is what I call a real BS (Bible Study)!

      Liked by 2 people

      • T. F. Thompson · September 23, 2019

        Sure. This is a duo situation, we’ll do it for God, but it’s going to cost Him. He’ll do it for us, but we’re gonna pay. Come on, man this is all in keeping with the American Way. If we’re gonna have God then we need a God who is packing with money. True, true, we need the big guns, but the money makes it even all the more explosive.

        Like

      • Agent X · September 23, 2019

        Tom,

        You catch on pretty quick for a country boy.

        Now, if you were a pastor, a PhD, or a director of a homeless ministry GETTING paid to do this work for God, somehow you wouldn’t be see it… I think.

        Like

      • mbolstlergmailcom · September 23, 2019

        Hey at least Abe is trying! You can tell by the groaning and the low salary compared with a broker.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agent X · September 23, 2019

        Hey,

        As long as I am spending $30 to learn at church NOT to give money to beggars, I really NEED the name of Abe’s low cost broker!

        Shoot me those digits, will ya?

        Like

      • Agent X · September 23, 2019

        I mean I was giving loose change to the beggars before I took that class. Never more than a dollar, and only when they caught me off guard.

        Normally, I locked the doors and rolled up the windows ANYWAY, but now I am out $30 making me FEEL good about myself as a Christian for NOT giving!

        That’s steep, but Lupton and friends are worth every penny.

        Like

  5. mbolstlergmailcom · September 22, 2019

    Ever wondered why Abraham got a good President named after him, Jephthah sounds like someone saying ‘Jefferson’ with all their teeth knocked out, and the end comes with Trump repeatedly blowing?

    Like

  6. Pastor Randy · September 23, 2019

    Indeed! God loves a good party where anyone and everyone is welcome! If we are going to be like our Creator, then we need to throw a good party–not in our comfortable places–but in the places where people live–where people are struggling–especially where people are hurting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · September 23, 2019

      Yes… and invite those hurting people into our healing places too. A Luke-14 party.

      Thanx for visiting and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. anonymous~ · July 18, 2020

    Hello everyone.
    The whole concept of “micro-loans” boils down to usery, period! Exploitation of the “least of the these” will only bring damnation upon the exploiters! The wolves in sheep’s clothing, as Paul speaks of them twisting the words of God for their own justified charity… Themselves! Along with the ones believing that helping at the soup kitchen is what Jesus meant in Matthew 25:31-46?
    Honestly I think there are going to be a lot of surprised people in the end!
    Great topic!
    Thank you for sharing this!
    God bless you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · July 18, 2020

      Hey, Anonymous, I got an old post stirred up with lots of traffic today. You might wanna see it too.
      Here is the link:

      https://fatbeggars.wordpress.com/2019/12/03/hmm-yes-thats-interesting-but-what-about-the-angels/

      Thanx for visiting this one! Love your comment. I think you seem to easily get the idea others are straining quite hard to avoid.

      God bless..,

      X

      Like

      • anonymous~ · July 18, 2020

        Agent X you said: ” I think you seem to easily get the idea others are straining quite hard to avoid.”
        I love the way you word this part of your comment… ” straining quite hard to avoid.”
        This section is quite frustrating to say the least! Every time I bring up the 197 verses… They, who ever they are almost always try to change the topic, or avoid it by some strange tactics.
        I’ve even seen churches teaching witch craft, and not knowing what it was kept teaching. Part of this has to do with bringing every thought captive to the mind of Christ! Anyway, it’s interesting to me to see how the devil has tricked me, and others to believe a lie, yet, it is what he does, and yes I fell into many traps of the devil. The devil loves to trip us up theologically, and in this day and age it’s very easy to accomplish! I’m not saying I have all the answers! Not even close. Yet I do know where I’ve been, and where, and when God showed up, and that’s all that matters now. Thank you for listening to a crazy man! God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. anonymous~ · July 18, 2020

    I have to admit that I didn’t come up with this one. Now let me remember… How’s that go… Treat others as you want to be treated?! Just s thought.
    God bless and have a great day!

    Like

  9. anonymous~ · July 18, 2020

    You’re most welcome, and thank you!

    Like

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