In today's culture, if you were to ask the question, "What is your status?" you would receive a different reaction depending on the generation you were talking to. If you were talking to a younger generation, you may find that the person will think you mean what is happening in their life at that moment. Social networking uses the word status for people tell how they feel or what is going on. If you are talking to someone from an older generation they would probably feel that question is rude because they would interpret the word status as their position in life. Status could mean the social class you are in or your position at work. Part of the reason this question would be considered rude is because in our culture, people always want to be in a better status than they are. But in the verses I am looking at, we see that Abraham viewed his status very differently. Please read Genesis 18:1-15.
I think Abraham's reaction to the visitors is something to take note of because he was a very wealthy man. The first thing that strikes me is that he is sitting in his tent near Mamre's oak grove. This is the same spot that he chose to live when he and Lot parted. Remember, Lot chose to live among the plains of the Jordan River and Abraham chose to live near Mamre's oak grove. Without losing focus too much, think about the fact that Abraham had been living in this spot for many years, yet he was still living in a tent. It makes me wonder if he preferred living in a tent rather than building a home, or if he chose to live in a tent because he wanted to be ready to go whenever God told him to go. Personally, I think it was the latter. I think Abraham lived knowing that he was not in his promised land; he was not in his true home. It didn't matter how much wealth Abraham possessed, he was not home. His wealth and status didn't mean anything compared to being where he belonged.
The other thing that struck me is that as soon as he saw the visitors he ran to greet them. This is such a different view of hospitality that we hold today in America. If we see strangers approaching our home, we become suspicious and wonder why they are coming. When people are traveling now days, they stay in a hotel and eat in a restaurant. But, there were no hotels and restaurants in Abraham's day so hospitality was much different. The thing that I find interesting is that Abraham could have sent a servant out to meet these strangers, but he personally ran to meet them. I wonder if they were clothed in a way that would have signaled a higher status or if Abraham was just a very humble and hospitable person. Either way, Abraham seemed to push aside his own status in order to gratefully serve these strangers.
I wonder how often I am willing to push aside my status in order to recognize that this is not my home. How willing am I to push aside my status in order to serve others? Jesus asked us to push aside our own status and asked us to treat others the way we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Philippians 2:3-4 says, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Our status means nothing because we are to be treating others as though they are better than ourselves. That is a challenging thought, isn't it? One more thought on how we are to think of ourselves from Romans 12:3, "Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us." Let us be honest when we measure our status: we are merely humble servants of the One and Only Living God.
What is your status?
This post is linked with iFellowship Blog Hop and Word Filled Wednesday.