by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies
Song of Songs 2:4, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love."
Did you know that God loves feasts and banquets? He invites us to come to His table of food, feasting and fellowship?
Actually, the word 'banqueting house' in this Scripture is yayin and means 'to effervesce, fermented wine, intoxication.' The New English Bible translates it, "He took me into the wine garden..." Isaiah 25:6 tells of a great feast that God is one day going to prepare for all His people in Jerusalem, "And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." Who is going to make this feast? The Lord of hosts himself! Does this sound like the God that you know? Yes, this is your God. God's house is a house of nourishment and His table is laden with abundant food and intoxicating joy. Moffat's translation describes it, "a banquet of rich food and of rare wines, of marrowy dainties and of choice old wines..." Read the description of Solomon's table (who was a type of Christ) in 2 Chronicles 9:4-5.
Not only does the Bible describe God as a chef preparing delectable delicacies to nourish our bodies and delight our taste buds, but with rich food to nurture our souls and spirits. Proverbs 9:1-6 says, "Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; she has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table." Do you lack wisdom? God's table is filled with wisdom. Do you seek after knowledge? All knowledge, understanding and revelation are in God and Christ and He lavishly spreads his table for you.
But you have to come. I have to come. We don't automatically receive without coming to dine at His table. Let's feel God's heart as we read the Message Bible of Proverbs 9, "The banquet meal is ready to be served, lamb roasted, wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers... Are you confused about life, don't know what's going on? Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me! I've prepared a wonderful spread--fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines. Leave your impoverished confusion and live."
We read the same invitation in Isaiah 55:1-2, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price... hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
When I come to God's table, the table of His rich Word, I can delight myself in fatness. I don't have to be impoverished. I don't have to be hungry and thirsty in my soul. I don't have to be malnourished in my spirit. I can eat 'till I'm full. There's more than I need. The table is laden! But I have to come. I have to sit at the table. I have to dine. This table is not for fast foodists.
Oh how sad to live an impoverished life when God has provided a table that is dripping with all we need. Will you come and feast each day?
God's table is also an example for the way we should spread our table. Food is to be eaten at a table, not in front of the TV, on the sofa, or in the car looking at the back of someone's head. God planned for us to sit at a table where we can not only eat leisurely but look at one another and communicate.
God sets His table. Do you set your table? The New Living Translation says, "Wisdom has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table..." If God, the God of Wisdom takes time to prepare delicious food and set His table, don't you think it would be wise for us to do the same? Preparing food for our family and setting the table beautifully is not a chore. It's a God thing. It's a ministry. When we sit at the table together as a family, not only do we feed our physical bodies, but we provide opportunity to feed the soul and the spirit too. Especially, of course, as we crown the meal with the Family Altar, opening the Word of God and praying together.
As God furnishes a delightful table for you, will you prepare and set a delightful table for your family?
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIES
"Oh God, please save me from passing by your bountiful table of wisdom and knowledge. I don't want to be an impoverished soul. I want to be filled to overflowing so I can bless others too. Amen."
I'm setting the table for my wonderful brood,
I'm furnishing it with love and nourishing food,
I'm making it a place where they all love to be,
A place of enrichment, joy and a lasting legacy!