I was thinking recently about the subject of housing in the Bible. For the most part, there is little or no mention made of where people lived. We have no clue what kind of home Jesus grew up in for instance. We don't know if the Joseph and Mary house had one bedroom, or five; one bathroom or six; was a ranch or Victorian. Seriously, there is nothing in the scriptures to give us any indication what kind of house they had.
The same holds true for just about everyone in the Bible (outside of kings). It would seem safe to say that from God's perspective, one's house is one of the least important things in life. Try and persuade someone today of that! Good luck.
We know that Abraham never owned a home despite being a very wealthy man. Abraham spent his life in pursuit of the city whose founder and maker was GOD. He gladly lived in tents and tended his flocks rather than become tied down to one location. Part of why Abraham is the father of faith is that he was able to live and remain faithful to his call without having a home per se.
Abraham lived in tents, Isaac lived in tents, Jacob lived in tents, Moses spent much of life living in tents (at best). Elijah never had a home although he spent seven years as a guest in one. We have no clue how many of the prophets had actual dwelling places and how many lived with others. We do know that John the Baptist lived out in the open.
David spent countless nights in caves as he hid from Saul who relentlessly hunted him. Although once he became King, David lived in the lap of luxury, a part of him probably missed the nights around the campfire with his band of warriors sleeping out on the land somewhere.
When reading the Gospels, it is clearly apparent that Jesus and the twelve spent many a night sleeping where they ended up that night. Of course they tried to sleep on the tiny boat (and Jesus DID) during the storm, but usually they simply spread out their blanket and used a rock for a pillow and slept out in the open.
Paul didn't stay at the local Motel 6 where they left the light on for him. He spent much of his life sleeping on the cold hard ground surrounded by animals and others who deemed it life's greatest honor to camp out with him. I don't think it ever crossed their mind that they were making any kind of sacrifice to live this way.
The modern fascination with dwelling places is nothing short of pure vanity. I read that a well known radio personality just sold a condo of his in the heart of New York City for 11.5 million dollars. So much for any talk of a recession! What on earth could make a glorified apartment worth that kind of money in today's market?
Paul states in 2 Timothy 2:4 the following:
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier".
I think Paul was a very wise man who spoke God's heart regarding all that preoccupies people now days. With most people's attention squarely devoted to either fixing everything wrong with their house or trying to turn it into a condo worth 11.5 million dollars; there is precious little time or resources left to bless people or help those less fortunate.
When we are all entangled with the affairs of this life we are not free to do what God asks of us. When we are constantly worrying about how to pay all the bills that come with living "the American Dream", we don't have the faith to reach out to those who live in a cardboard box and tell them Jesus loves them.
When we are more concerned with transporting various kids and grandchildren to every soccer match or recital in town than we are in transporting an elderly person who can't drive to the doctor; I think we have succeeded in pretty much losing our heart.
When we gladly spend hundreds of dollars at a huge home improvement store to dress up our earthly mansions even more than they already are; I think we have totally lost track of the truth that Jesus went to prepare for us a mansion in glory.
If all there is to live for is this life, then by all means we need to try and live in a mansion and devote all we have to making it the "talk of the town". But, if we live this life like Abraham did, in search of the eternal city whose founder and maker is God; then the allure and appeal of this life dims in the light of His glorious eyes.
Far too often we act like we are going to live forever... here. We forget this world is not our home, we are simply passing through as we travel to our true home... Heaven!
May we always keep our eyes on home as we labor for Him!
It's a hard balance. Houses can be great distractions from what the Lord wants you doing, but they can also be incredible blessings...and I've always been taught to take great care of my blessings as a thankfulness to the Lord.
For a quick read, Jensen's "Introduction to the New Testament" provides an excellent description of the houses of Jesus' time. In general they were all one room houses with dirt floors. They all slept in the same room using their mantles often as blankets. However, i'm sure if there were beds at the time, Jesus would have slept in one of those. :) He is King of Kings...
I can always count on you for a related type blog every time God is dealing with me about something AND I will read it five times or more AND never comment on it because I just can't find the words to respond to it.
This time I decided to let you in on the process. If you see I've read your blog over and over and not commented - well God is at work thru it even though you don't see that.