Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Table of Joy

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11)
The Table of the Lord is a table of joy because it is the table of His presence, and in His presence is fullness of joy. The Hebrew word for “presence,” panim, refers to the face. God’s presence is His face turned toward us.

Jacob experienced this presence on the night he wrestled with the angel of the Lord and would not let Him go until he received a blessing. That is when his name was changed to Israel He called the name of the place Peniel, “The Face of God.” He said, “For I have seen God face [panim] to face [panim] and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30).

Many people fear the presence of the Lord because they think He is out to destroy them. But the truth is that He wants to show them the path of life. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He is the path of the life.

David declared that at the right hand of the Lord there are pleasures forevermore — lasting happiness, delight that never ends. Paul tells us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20), and that we are seated together there in Him (Ephesians 2:6).

Everlasting life and endless joy are found in Jesus Christ. In His presence is fullness of joy, and the Table of the Lord is a sign of His presence, given to us by the Lord Jesus Himself. It is a powerful manifestation of His presence, when we receive it in faith.

When He took the bread, He blessed it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Likewise, He took the cup and said, “This is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). When we take the bread and the cup, we are receiving the sign of His presence. That is why this table is often called “communion,” because we are together with Him, face to face. And that is pure joy.

The Table of the Lord is the table of joy, the table of His presence. Go to this table often and let Him fill you with His life and joy.