A house is the physical building; a home is created by the love, emotional attachment, and hopes of its residents. “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous” (Prov 3:33). Many people place an undue emphasis on the visible structure, maintaining

Would others describe my dwelling place                                         as a house or home?

appearances while neglecting the potential of hospitality that should be a hallmark of Christian homes, together with the emotional security and Godly training of the children in a loving, fun-filled environment.   

Abraham lived in a tent, as did the other semi nomadic farmers (Heb 11:9). However, in biblical times most people lived in houses built of rough stones and sun dried bricks.  Wood was used to support the roof that consisted of brushwood with mud plaster on top.  A stone staircase on the outside led up to the normally flat roof. This provided additional living and sleeping space in summer as well as providing an ideal drying area for figs, flax and other commodities. Cooking was done outside in summer but inside during winter; fuel was wood or animal dung. Water was often obtained from a community well. In Jerusalem excrement was disposed of through the dung gate.

Particularly during the OT period, cities were surrounded by stone walls and gates as fortification against enemy attack. In the conquest of Jericho the Israelite spies were briefly accommodated by Rahab whose house occupied part of such a wall (Josh 2:6,15). As a direct result of this action she ‘saved herself and her family’. Is my house a place of blessing too?

See also: home, home group, hospitality.

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