Sunday: The Gift of Hospitality

Daily Lesson for Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Read Genesis 18:1-15. What elements of hospitality are demonstrated in Abraham’s response to his guests?

Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. This behavior was unusual. At that time of the day in summer, when the sun is at its zenith, everyone is looking for shade and for a fresh breeze. But, perhaps, Abraham was enduring the heat in order to help anyone who might be passing by.

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While there, he saw three travelers. His practice, most likely, was to offer hospitality to strangers. This is why the initiative of the encounter was from Abraham: in the text he ran toward them from the entrance of his tent. That is, and this point is important: Abraham took the initiative to meet them even before they came to him.

“ ‘Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant’ ” (Genesis 18:4-5, NKJV).

Abraham was aware of his mission, which was to share with everyone the knowledge of the Lord in a world engulfed in paganism, idolatry, and polytheism. As we can see in this incident, his most immediate way to fulfill his mission was through hospitality toward these strangers, who seemed to have just appeared on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Abraham’s “great household consisted of more than a thousand souls, many of them heads of families, and not a few but newly converted from heathenism. Such a household required a firm hand at the helm. No weak, vacillating methods would suffice. . . . Abraham’s influence extended beyond his own household. Wherever he pitched his tent, he set up beside it the altar for sacrifice and worship. When the tent was removed, the altar remained; and many a roving Canaanite, whose knowledge of God had been gained from the life of Abraham His servant, tarried at that altar to offer sacrifice to Jehovah.”—Ellen. G. White, Education, p. 187.

From the start, this man understood that God had called him to mission, and that his going to the Promised Land was not for a vacation but to be a blessing to those around him and, through his seed, to the world.

What principles of Abraham’s example of hospitality can you emulate in your own life?