At times we may wonder what connection the New Testament has to the Old Testament and why both (if one thinks of them in terms of two) are relevant to believers. The answer to this question is not far-fetched when it is realized both eras complement each other. While what is commonly referred to as the Old Testament (and not an accurate translation of its meaning) is the foundation and super structure, the New Testament is the finishing of the building – in a manner of speaking. Since I am not posting about the application of what is known as ‘the letter and the spirit,’ I shall concentrate on showing a (and the) relation between both sections with a simple demonstration of kindness as practiced in the Old and reported in the New.
Now Genesis 18:1- 8 informs the reader Abraham sitting in the shade of a terebinth tree in the heat of the day saw three strangers and showed them hospitality: invited them into his tent, offered them water to wash their feet and prepared a sumptuous meal for their refreshment. On account of this act of kindness Abraham gained knowledge about what would befall the city where Lot his nephew had gone off to live and Sarah, Abraham’s wife gained a son: Isaac, one year later in her old age.
In another place and at another time, Lot, Abraham’s nephew was sitting in the gate of Sodom and saw two strangers. Like Abraham he invited them to his house and entertained them. On account of his kindness he learnt the city he dwelt in was to suffer destruction by fire and was enabled to escape with his daughters to the mountains.
Again we read in the book of 2 Kings 4:8-17, how a certain woman was enabled to conceive and give birth to a child after years of barrenness because she showed kindness to the man of Yahweh: the prophet Elisha.
Thus it is clear there is a connection between the Old and the New as we read this instruction in the book of Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to receive strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained messengers.”
Is this the attitude we show to people we do not know when and if they have a need which is in our power to provide of do we turn a blind eye and hastily close our ears to situations which require our input? Have we become selfish and uncaring? It never is too late to change and don’t forget: what you sow is what you reap.
Bible Reading: Bereshith (Genesis) 18:1-22:24, Mel. B (2 Kings) 4:1-37.