Last week, (actually last YEAR) we were invited to our friends’ house for dinner.
We enjoyed a simple, well prepared, nourishing and delicious meal – the kind that leaves you feeling so satisfied.
What really made it special was the way it was ‘set forth’.
The white damask tablecloth, the Christmas ball name tags, the lit candles standing tall in lovely candlesticks, the chargers under the dinner china, the crystal wine glasses and the table floral arrangement made it all so pleasing to the eye.
We were made to feel like honoured guests and the fellowship was as nourishing as the meal.
I read a familiar verse the other day and it exploded with new meaning.
The passage was Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes !"
The word that stood out to me was ‘purposes’.
I lingered on that word thinking about the purposes of God.
I think most of us have a rather detached feeling regarding God’s purposes – understanding them as being beyond our grasp or understanding.
And not without cause do we feel that way. God Himself says “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
No question that they are!!
And yet - in Jesus - there is a beautiful dimension added that was not present in the Old Covenant, except as a shadow of what was to come.
Checking into the Greek meaning of the word translated into our English word ‘purpose’ as used in connection with God’s intent toward us, I found a very heart touching picture.
The Greek work for ‘purpose’ if translated literally would be ‘setting forth’ and it is the same word as the one used for 'show bread' in the tabernacle.
The show bread (the 'setting forth') in the tabernacle was laid out on the table in the Holy Place for the priests to eat in the presence of God.
The bread was literally called “the bread of faces” because the priests and God fellowshipped face to face in the eating of the bread.
Do you see the picture?
God’s purposes toward us are literally “a setting forth of a banquet and we are invited to come and eat …sitting down to fellowship across the table with our Lord Himself!”
Is that not beautiful?
We eagerly accepted our friends’ invitation to dine with them, there was no fear or doubt that the experience would be less than enjoyable or planned with our good in mind. My Celiac demand for ‘gluten-free’ was carefully taken into consideration as the menu was decided on.
How much more when God plans the ‘menu’ for your life will He not consider what is best suited just for you.
If you accept His invitation to come and dine at the table of His purposes for you, it will be nothing less than the most satisfying experience.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love!”
(Song of Solomon 2:4)