Learning from Ephesians and the 23rd Psalm (Part Seven)
The Lord's Table, The Lord's Cup And The Lord's House
As we think together about these things - full of blessing for each of us - may our life be filled with "peace, love and faith" (Ephesians 6:23). May we be given that strong faith in the Lord which looks beyond the earthly horizon to the heavenly glory which awaits the Lord's people.
(1) The Lord's Table
When we read the words, "You prepare a table for me" (Psalm 23:5a), our thoughts turn to the celebration of Christ's death for us. Here on earth, this "table" is set "in the presence of our enemies." We rejoice in the love of God - yet still we must contend with our enemies. There will come a Day when God's purpose of love will reach its perfect fulfilment. There will be no more enemies only a Heavenly Celebration which will far surpass our earthly celebrations of Christ's love. In heaven, we will know His love as a perfect love, an undying love, a steadfast love which endures forever.
(2) The Lord's Cup
In love, God invites us to receive an everlasting blessing - "You anoint my cup with oil, my cup overflows" (Psalm 23:5b). He invites us to drink from the Cup of our Lord Jesus Christ. By faith, we receive Christ and His salvation. He anoints us with the oil of the Holy Spirit. He fills our lives with an overflowing blessing. the salvation of God is more than our earthly experience can ever contain. There will always be an overflow - the overflow of heavenly glory, the overflow of life forevermore - "How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore" (Psalm 133:3).
(3) The Lord's House
The Lord's Table is set in the Lord's House. In the Lord's House, we partake of the Cup of the Lord. In the Lord's House, seated at the Lord's Table, drinking from the Lord's Cup, we rejoice in God's "goodness and mercy" (Psalm 23:6).
We look beyond the Lord's House here on earth to "the house of the Lord" in heaven above. The Lord's House here on earth can sometimes appear like a wasteland. We must look beyond this wasteland. God's purpose is heavenly and eternal. He has a glorious destiny prepared for us: "Eye has not seen, neither has ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prpared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Out of the wasteland, God is building His Church, a Church which will bring glory to His Name.
Here on earth, there are many struggles and many conflicts. there will come a Day when all of that is behind us, and there will be peace, perfect peace, the peace of God which passes all understanding.
The Lord's Table set for us by the Lord Himself
The Lord's Cup served to us by the Lord Himself
The Lord's House prepared for us by the Lord Himself
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[ believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me ... Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:1-6,27).
- In love, Jesus is preparing a place for us.
- In faith, we come to Jesus who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life."
- In peace, we lay aside the troubles of this world and we rest in the Lord and His Word to us - "Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid."