Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Table Surrounded by Favor

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
(Psalm 5:11-12)
The favor of the Lord is His delight, the pleasure He has in those who are His; there is nothing He withholds from them. The righteous are those who are in right standing with God, who love His name and trust in Him; there is nothing they withhold from Him. They are under His protection and surrounded by His favor; it is like a shield that takes care of them on all sides. It is cause for great joy, and David describes it in three ways.
  • Rejoice. The Hebrew word is samach. It means to be bright and lighthearted. It arises when you put your trust in the Lord.
  • Shout for Joy. The Hebrew word is ranan and means to creak, to sing, to shout. It is seeing that God really does protect and provide for you.
  • Be joyful. The Hebrew is awlats. It means to exult, even to jump for joy. It is realizing that His blessing and favor is without bounds. The manifestation of His love for us stirs up our love for Him.
Notice the progression as we enter deeper into the wonder of His favor. It goes from lightheartedness, which may be quiet and still, to loud and animated joy — creaking, singing, shouting, dancing and jumping for joy.

All such rejoicing is appropriate at the Table of the Lord, where we ponder the mystery that we are made the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). The bread and the cup show us the body given and the blood shed on our account, revealing the rich favor God has toward us. For “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

Enter into the depths of joy at the Table of the Lord, the Table Surrounded by Favor.