A few days ago we bought a tent and set it up inside the living room of our house. We have been planning camping here in Texas for a long time! And the kids had a lot of fun just thinking about testing the tent, and they even slept in it the first night. Check out in this post the profound meaning that the Scriptures teach us about family and also faith from your own home.
The House in the Scriptures
In the beginning (hb. Berishith) God created the heavens and the earth. This is the phrase that inaugurates the Scriptures. And the first Hebrew letter used is bet. Each Hebrew letter is related to a figure (drawing, image) and carries a meaning (concept, value). The figure for bet is a tent. And its meaning is related to the concept of home, family, and within. In addition to this letter, there is a term widely used in Scripture for the same concept, which is beit (Gen. 6:14, 12: 1; Ex 1: 1; Lev 10: 6; Num 1: 2; Deut 6: 7).
For a few months, our family wanted to buy a camping tent. We currently live in Texas, where it is quite safe to camp, but we have not yet experienced this with our children. Last week their school held a fair with new products that were donated and would be sold to raise income for the school. That’s when we bought a great tent for about 10% of its market value!
Soon after, we set up this tent inside the living room of our house. And there the children had fun with their little friends. Our kids even slept in the tent the first night, and then we packed it until we go camping soon.
In the past, it was common for families to live like nomads, whether in tents, in caves, and even on boats – a trend that rises again with globalization. In Genesis 6:14, when the Lord commands Noah to build a large wooden boat and cover it with pitch inside and out. The term inside in Hebrew is beit (family, house, interior). This is his first mention in the Scriptures.
Note that it was inside of that ark that Noah’s family would be saved from the flood that would destroy every form of life on earth. Many made fun of him while working on the construction of a boat never seen before. God gave him instructions with details that required faith to be carried out. And everyone outside that ark suffered the consequence of the flood and died without any hope (Heb 11: 7; 1Pe 3: 18-22).
Jesus said something very interesting about this: it will happen in the last days just as it did in the days of Noah. That is, people will be eating and drinking, getting married, and living independently of God. And the end will come. No one knows the day or the hour (Mt 24:37; Mark 13:32; Luke 17:26).
Thus, only those who have a place of sincere faith in their home will live in hope and enjoy the best that God has prepared for them. There is no place on earth as favorable for living the faith, for communion with God and with people, as your own home. Just as you travel to a wonderful destination and, after a few days, all you want to do is return to your home, it is also there in the comfort of your place that God wants to meet with your family. And more than that, reveal Himself to the world through each one of us, from our “tent”, from the inside of our homes.
Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. An unknown kind of tree; transliterated from Hebrew Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.Genesis 6:14
Similarly in the New Testament, Jesus invested his time in ministry to disciple men and women from a close relationship with them. This included few meetings with crowds – when he gave them food – and several smaller meetings from house to house. A careful reading of the synoptic Gospels suggests that the house that was accessed through the roof for the healing of a paralytic was the home of Jesus’ family (John 6:26; Mt 9: 6-10; Mark 2: 1; Luke 5:18 ).
What I am trying to show you is that your house is the best place for you to meet Jesus and develop a relationship with him and also with his church. You can have an experience with God anywhere in the universe. But what I have learned from my experience and from the Scriptures is that the house is the place where the Lord wants to relate to you (Rev. 3:20).
Jesus was always at meals, moments of rest, and parties in the houses of people who received him (Mt 26:6; Mark 1:33; Luke 10: 5). Before converting, Paul chased the church from house to house, as this was the focus of the meetings. After meeting Jesus, Paul began to serve the church, teaching from house to house. So the church also started, strengthened, and grew (Ac 1:13; 2:2; 8:3; 20:20).
I know Christians who value their looks, and sometimes their leadership position in the church requires it. It does not mean that they have an evil heart. They simply value public status more than a sincere relationship with God and their family. But the Bible teaches us that, before the matter of faith, it is necessary to deal with the family itself. Both this and that are nurtured in love and service within the home (1 Cor 11:17-22; 1Tim 3:5-13).
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.Revelation 3:20
The house is the place of family and faith. We see this from the beginning to the end of the Scriptures that teach us the importance of our homes for fellowship and the healthy development of faith. From its first letter, the Word of God points out the value of the home as a place of intimacy with God.
Just as your heart is within your chest, it is within your house that God will meet you and your family. Inside is a place of sincerity, intimacy, and lasting relationship. That is why Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts: He invites us to welcome him into our homes and make them an ark for the salvation of us and many others through us.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
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“I will bless those people who bless you. But I will curse anyone who insults you.
Through you, I will bless all the families of people on the earth.” Genesis 12:3