Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Banquet

You enter a banquet hall; before you is a long, beautifully carved wooden table set with fine china, crystal goblets, polished silverware, and linen napkins. You may eat whatever you desire. Perhaps your first choice is a juicy steak, cooked to perfection. With it you may desire a baked potato, loaded with butter and sour cream, perhaps topped with bacon and green onion. A tossed salad, chock full of your favorite vegetables and topped with your favorite dressing, rounds out the meal. Perhaps instead of steak, you prefer a different dish? A crispy taco, filled with flavorful meat, shredded lettuce, tomato, and two kinds of cheese. Guacamole, chips, and salsa come with the dinner. Whatever your favorite meal, you may eat to your heart’s content. Next, of course, is dessert. Would you care for a chewy brownie, topped with creamy vanilla ice cream and hot fudge? Or perhaps a bowl of juicy, ripe red strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream?
Would the opportunity to eat your fill of your favorite dishes make you glad? Just looking at the delicious food and inhaling its wonderful odors would make most of us quite happy. Unfortunately for our waistlines and our pocketbooks, we cannot indulge in a feast like this, at least not very often.

Now it is easy to imagine joy in a feast of delicious food, but “joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16) from eating God’s word? Do we desire the word of God as much as we desire delicious food? Is reading God’s word something we eagerly anticipate? Probably not, but this is a feast in which we can indulge. We need not fear gaining weight and depleting our wealth; we only fear gaining knowledge of God’s wisdom and love and depleting our sinfulness.

Oh God, creator of the entire universe, I desire delicious food more than I desire Your word. I don’t regard Your words as a sumptuous banquet for my soul. Forgive me. Change my heart, O God. Create in me a create in me a hunger to feast at the banquet of Your word.

Jeremiah 15:16 (NKJ) “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”

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