Full Hospitality for Weary Travelers

Perhaps the most effective way to demonstrate God’s values and Christ’s love to others is to invite and welcome guests into our homes. I can’t help but think of the film Christmas Vacation. The Griswalds are having Christmas at their home this year; that means everybody will intr … More

Hospitality

Since it was late in the day his servant suggested that they spend the night in Jerusalem but the Levite said no because it belonged to foreigners and was not considered a proper place to be (vv 11-13). Instead they traveled on north to Gibeah and arrived  there just as the sun  was going down (v. 14). The towns of Palestine at this period in time could not, it seems, furnish any establishment in the shape of an inn or public lodging-house. Hence it was not uncommon, for travelers who were late in arriving to spread their bedding in the streets to pass the night in the open air. These weary travelers could find no hospitality by the local Benjaminites but finally found another Ephraimite who was residing there who offered his house for the night (vv. 15-18).

The Levite had been careful to point out to the old man that they were self sufficient and did not need any food for themselves or their animals (v. 19). All they needed was shelter. However no item was overlooked as the beasts were taken care of, the travel stains of his guests were washed away and ample provisions for their physical needs were made (vv. 20-21). Any anxiety that had been in their hearts before must have been relieved by this fine hospitality. It was sort of like a time of real calmness just before a big storm.

Application

Have you ever experienced being on a trip and very weary when a Christian family who are total strangers to you have invited you to their place to spend the night. In the ministry which I have been involved in, I have had this happen to me on numerous occasions. It is truly a great joy to experience this kind of hospitality. I also find great joy to do the same for others in our home.

Judges 19:11-21 (English Standard Version)

When they were near Jebus, the day was nearly over, and the servant said to his master, "Come now, let us turn aside to this city of the Jebusites and spend the night in it." And his master said to him, "We will not turn aside into the city of foreigners, who do not belong to the people of Israel, but we will pass on to Gibeah." And he said to his young man, "Come and let us draw near to one of these places and spend the night at Gibeah or at Ramah." So they passed on and went their way. And the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, and they turned aside there, to go in and spend the night at Gibeah. And he went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night. And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. The man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he was sojourning in Gibeah. The men of the place were Benjaminites. And he lifted up his eyes and saw the traveler in the open square of the city. And the old man said, "Where are you going? And where do you come from?" And he said to him, "We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, from which I come. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to the house of the Lord, but no one has taken me into his house. We have straw and feed for our donkeys, with bread and wine for me and your female servant and the young man with your servants. There is no lack of anything." And the old man said, "Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants. Only, do not spend the night in the square." So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys feed. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank.

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