Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Table of Feasting

He brought me to the banqueting house,
And His banner over me was love.
(Song of Solomon 2:4)
The Hebrew word for “banquet” refers literally to wine, effervescent and intoxicating. It is a table of feasting. In the setting of the Song of Solomon, it is a place of intimacy where the Shulamite woman meets with her Beloved. He covers her with his banner, which is the declaration of his love.

The Table of the Lord is a table of feasting where we meet with our Beloved and He expresses His love for us. It is the secret place, where we can say, like the Shulamite woman, “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). “I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me” (Song 7:10).

This privilege belongs to all who call on the name of the Lord, all those who trust in Him. God offers this table to the whole world, for He is calling out and redeeming a people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation, all those who receive the Lord Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold of a great feast for all people:
And in this mountain
The LORD of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,
Of well-refined wines on the lees.
And He will destroy on this mountain
The surface of the covering cast over all people,
And the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the LORD;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
(Isaiah 25:6-9)
It is a time when death is swallowed up and every tear is wiped away. It is the day of salvation. The Hebrew word for “salvation” here is yeshuah. As a name, it is Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus. He is the one who by His death lifts the reproach from His people, by His Spirit removes the veil that blinds the nations, and swallows up death in the victory of His resurrection.

The book of Revelation also describes a great feast that is the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. It is the marriage supper of the Lamb, where the Lord Jesus takes His bride unto Himself.
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:6-9)
The bride is the Church, whom Jesus loves and for whom He gave Himself that He might present us pure and holy before Him (Ephesians 5:25-27). He has given us a table over which He has set His banner of love. It is a table of intimacy with Him where we feast on the bread of His body and the wine of His blood. It is a sign that we are called to share the marriage supper of the Lamb and be His forever. For on the night He instituted this sign, He gave the cup to the disciples and said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). And so He shall at the marriage feast of the Lamb.

The Table of the Lord is the Table of Feasting.