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 appearances while neglecting the potential of

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

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. Can people who enter my residence, say “Jesus is in the house” because of the godly atmosphere (Mk 2:1).

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.

House of God

In the OT God instructed a physical structure be made where His presence would reside in a perceptible way and was to be the focal point of worship, the place of connection with God. Initially, during the wilderness wanderings, a movable tabernacle was constructed, and then later when in the Promised Land the temple was built – both made exactly according to divine specifications (Ex 25:8,9; 1 Kgs 6:38, 8:10,11). David wrote, "I rejoice with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord" (Ps 122:1).

On the day of Pentecost, the church (comprising the born again believers) was birthed, when about 3,000 people were saved (Act 2:41). Although the ‘House of God’ is the term often attributed to a religious buildings, God does not dwell in physical structures made by men (1Kgs 8:27; Act 7:48). Rather as these and many more Scriptures show, this refers

As believers we house the Spirit of God – 1 Corinthians 6:19

to the believers: “Don’t you know you are God’s temple?...Like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…” (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19; 1 Pet 2:5).

See also: church, tabernacle, temple.