Hospitality begets hospitality

Eighteen months ago, I first posted this. In light of Governor Bryant’s announcement of the reorganization of the foster care system and, also, of the Christmas season, I’ve decided to repost it.–JW

In 2 Samuel 19, King David wants to reward Barzillai the Gileadite for providing the king with food while he was in exile during Absalom’s revolt. David offers to include Barzillai in his court in Jerusalem. Barzillai declines because of his great age, but sends Chimham in his stead.

David on his deathbed–
1 Kings 2:7 (AMP)

But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table; for with such kindness they met me when I fled because of Absalom your brother.

Four centuries after David’s death–
Jeremiah 41:17 (AMP)

And they departed and stayed at the lodging place of Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, [intending] to go to Egypt

From Bible History online:

The “habitation of Chimham” (Jer. 41:17) was probably an inn or khan, which is the proper meaning of the Hebrew _geruth_, rendered “habitation”, established in later times in his possession at Bethlehem, which David gave to him as a reward for his loyalty in accompanying him to Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom (1 Kings 2:7). It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn or caravanserai that our Saviour was born (Luke 2:7).

If this is so, Barzillai’s hospitality was rewarded with a place for hospitality, an inn, presumably out of David’s family land. Chimham’s inn, almost a millennium later, gave hospitality to King David’s descendant, King Jesus.

O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
You are Lord of the generations. Thank You for all the goodness that You have sown in creation, in the land of the Mississippi Delta, in our bloodlines, in our churches. Thank You for teaching us how to sow goodness and generosity and reap a harvest beyond measure.
Hospitality begets hospitality. There are thousands of foster children in Mississippi. Release a spirit of hospitality over this state and receive these children in homes formed by Your love. Amen.

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