As I sift through a treasure trove of information on hospitality, especially in the Old Testament, I focus on something that has somehow eluded me in times past. I’ve found it in two separate scriptures:
- Deuteronomy 10:18 “He [God] administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.”
- Psalm 146:9 “The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and the widow….”
A comment from the JewishEncyclopedia.com article, “Hospitality,” lends even greater acuity:
“The ‘ger,’ the sojourner who lived with a Hebrew family or clan, was assured by the Biblical law not only of protection against oppression (Exodus 23:9) and deceit (Leviticus 19:33), but also of love from the natives (Deuteronomy 16:14), who were to love him even as themselves (Leviticus 19:34)….”
God Himself loves the stranger and keeps him under His special protection. By His actions He models the scope, depth, and meaning of true hospitality.