Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Table of the LORD: Let God Arise

Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
(Psalm 68:1-3)
When God arises, His enemies scatter. And when He has made a covenant with us, His enemies become our enemies, and our enemies become His. So there is great rejoicing — lightheartedness, gleefulness, cheerfulness, blithesomeness, gladness, and even triumphing and jumping for joy — among His people. This psalm of David is a celebration of God’s victory on our behalf.

The New Testament people of God have a celebration as well — the Table of the Lord. For it is here that we receive the cup of the new covenant which was cut in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is here that we lay hold of the benefits of His body given for us. It is the continuing sign that God has arisen on our behalf, and has scattered our enemies. As John observed, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). In Jesus Christ, the works of the devil have been destroyed on our behalf. The bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper is our song of rejoicing.

David details some of the practical benefits of this victory:
  • The LORD is to us the father of the fatherless, and the defender of widows (v. 5).
  • The LORD sets the solitary in families (v. 6).
  • The LORD brings out the bound into prosperity (v. 6).
  • The LORD goes out before His people, leading us, even through the wilderness (v. 7).
  • The LORD sends us plentiful rain, whereby He confirms our inheritance when we are weary (v. 9).
  • The LORD has made this inheritance our dwelling place (v. 10).
  • The LORD provides for the poor out of His goodness (v. 10).
The blessings are so plentiful that David declares,
Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits.
The God of our salvation.
(Psalm 68:19)
The Hebrew word for “salvation” here is yeshuah, which in name form is Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus. Truly it is in Him that we have all these blessings. For He was anointed by the Spirit of God to preach good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the year of God’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).

This psalm begins with a note of triumph, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,” and only gets better, for it ends with the sure prosperity and protection of His own: “The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people” (v. 35)

The Lord Jesus Christ has arisen on our behalf to scatter the enemy and destroy all the works of the devil. And now the God of our salvation, our Yeshua, daily loads us with His benefits. The Table of the Lord is the perfect place to lay hold of all these provisions, to celebrate the victory with Him, even to jump for joy and dance with abandon in care-free celebration.