Thursday, February 12, 2009

Entertaining Angels...

Hebrews 13:12 says, "2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." I know that you folks that read my blog are tired of hearing me scream the same thing from on top of my soapbox, but I can't help but notice God constantly putting these things on my mind. I was reading in Judges earlier and God laid this on my heart. Manoah's wife was sterile, but the angel of the Lord (Jesus) came to her and said, "You are sterile and childless but you are going to conceive and have a son." (Judges 13:3) How many times has God laid something on our heart? How many times has He told us that a blessing was coming our way? The angel of the Lord (Jesus) continued to to say to Manoah's wife in Judges 13:4-5,4 "Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, 5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines." Now, I know we are blessed regardless of our faithfulness or not, but are there more blessings for us or for others through us if we are obedient to God? Im pretty sure the answer is YES! The angel of the Lord was informing Manoah of a future blessing, but the news came with a demand of obedience. When Manoah heard of this he prayed and begged the Lord that the angel return with instructions of how to raise the son that was going to be born. (Judges 13:8) When God lays something on our heart, do we go to Him in prayer to figure out the specifics? We should! As the story continues, God heard Manoah's cry, just like He hears ours, and the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah's wife again. She quickly ran to Manoah and said, "He's here! The man who appeared to me the other day!" Manoah went to talk to "the man." He got the same instructions that were given to his wife, and wanted to prepare a young goat for the angel. But in verse 16 the angel said, "Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD." (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the LORD.) Did you catch that? Manoah didn't even know that it was the angel of the Lord, JESUS, that he was offering hospitality and gratitude to, but Jesus said, "Offer it to the Lord." This is what reminded me of Hebrews 13:12. Manoah had an encounter with Jesus, God in the flesh, and didn't even realize it. How many times have we had a chance to show a stranger LOVE, through hospitality or humility? Well Manoah sacrificed the goat to Lord and the Lord did an amazing thing, while Manoah and his wife watched. (Judges 13:19-20) God will do something amazing with our lives when we are obedient to His call. God is ALWAYS faithful to His word, we have to be faithful on our end and we will be AMAZED by what God does. Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, 40"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." God is all around us! Everywhere I look I see His face. How many times do we walk pass Jesus (the least of these) in a day? We can have a huge impact on their lives if we are obedient to God's call. We can fall on our faces before God bc of an experience like Manoah and his wife had bc of their obedience, or we can face the reality of Matthew 25:41-43. I pray that we can be intentional in our approach each and every day. The people in this world are in trouble folks. What are we going to do about it? Are we entertaining angels when we get the chance?

1 comment:

  1. Matt,
    Thanks for your insights and comments about entertaining strangers. Your words of "intentionality" are important for us to hear.