Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground. (Genesis 18:1-2)
According to Jewish tradition, this encounter with the three “men” occurred on the third day after Abraham and his household had been circumcised. Even though he had to endure the pain of circumcision, Abraham was a congenial host to complete strangers. Consequently through the ages, Abraham has been an example of faith and generosity, exhibiting the traits that his seed are to emulate — loving God and caring for strangers. Later Moses wrote:
“Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:19)
This is not the only passage where this virtue is presented as a challenge to God’s people. On multiple occasions God reminds His people that, because they were once slaves, they should understand what it means to be a stranger in a strange land and, therefore, they were not to mistreat the stranger. God’s people are to be caring and generous to others because it faithfully represents our Father to the world; kindness and generosity are attributes He displays to us. Messiah spoke to this issue when He said:
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)
A “good eye” is an idiomatic expression that means to be generous. Consequently, a “bad eye” describes those who are stingy and inconsiderate. According to Yeshua, to lack basic consideration for others is indicative of a person who is full of darkness. Seeing that we are children of the light, this should never be said of us; we are here to be the light.
As an individual, I can’t feed the world but I can be kind to those that God brings across my path. I can be considerate of those I meet and, as the Father leads, I can help them to have a better day. We live in a jaded world but we don’t have to allow that cynicism to negatively affect us. We are children of a beneficent and generous Father — let’s represent Him well.
Blessings and Shalom,