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Christian and Culture Through The Bible

Through the Bible: Strangers

There are so many things to think about in this section of the Bible, that I hesitate to write about anyone of them for fear of doing a disservice to the remaining items.

This section of Bible includes a story often referenced when discussing the tithe, the story of Abraham and Melchizedek. I have already written my thoughts on this elsewhere so if you are interested feel free to read them.

Broken Down
I was very much drawn to the story of the angels who visited Abraham in chapter 18. Abraham’s cultural customs created an excitement to entertain these strangers, we see this again when Lot meets two angels and all but demands they come to his home. I am not sure if this tradition extends from the Lords love of the stranger, widow and orphan, or as is later said in the book of Hebrews “Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.” I simply can not be sure which thought came first, not that it matters in the grand scheme of things.

My personal thoughts on the matter are much more unpretentious: “I don’t want to do that.” I have a wife and a daughter, whom I would prefer to not endanger by inviting a stranger into my home. I understand that this maybe wrong in some fashion but I can not avoid it. I do not pull over to help people on the side of the road if my wife and daughter are with me; ok I don’t really pull over if I am alone either. I think about it and I have gotten better at actually doing it but I wish I cared more.

Regardless, I am not sure how to go about this. I am not going to invite the guy on the corner with the “will work for food” sign into my home but I have often wondered if he is an angel. I am not so naïve as to think all of those people are supernatural beings but I suppose all of the strangers welcomed into homes through history weren’t all angels either.

3 replies on “Through the Bible: Strangers”

I do appreciate your concern over my and your daughter’s well being. And as far as caring more, I don’t think that is the issue at all. You care plenty, but you also have a dose of reality that allows you to know when somebody is just too lazy to get a job. I think, hope and pray that if an angel were to cross your or my path that we are in communication with God to know the difference and sound of his voice to help those we need to.

Ask God to help you tame your pre-judgement issues one scenario at a time. Prepare yourself ahead of time by placing a bag of edible non-perishables in your trunk or back seat. Then as you approach a homeless, sign carrying person, whisper a simple rebuke to your possible thoughts of judgement, quickly stop at a safe distance and place the bag where they can see. Maybe have some encouraging or salvation directed scriptures written on a piece of paper also in the bag. You’ll be surprised at the feelings of “overcoming”. Each time you accomplish this act, it will be easier for you to let go of the judgements. Place it in God’s hands and know that they too (most times) have the power to change the way they think. Sometimes when we are trying to change something about our lives or disciplines, it helps to change our physical surroundings in preparation. Being prepared makes it more conducive for change.

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