This morning, I sat down in the living room on our ottoman, facing the oversized chair which had my open Bible with paper and pen sitting next to it. The moment when I looked down at the Bible, I heard in my spirit, “Come to the table.” This of course brought tears to my eyes, as it was an invitation from the Lord to spend time with Him in His Word. To know that He encourages us to sit at his table, or at his feet, to learn, to listen, to grow, is what lifts me up each day. I picked up the Bible, and the first thing that I read, which jumped out to me, was, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone.”I share this to give you a glimpse of how He works with me, in writing these blogs. He gives me a word for the day, or an experience that leads to writing about it.
(I have said from the beginning of these posts that if the Lord is not inspiring me, then I will not write a post. To do so would be out of pride, and there would be no real purpose in that, nor would it bless anyone because the Lord would not be in it. So, every now and then you will notice that I do not have a daily blog. That is because for whatever reason, the Lord has not spoken a specific topic or scripture to me to write about, or I had too many other things on my plate) 🙂
“Give us this day our daily bread…”
In Luke 4:1-4 and in Matthew 4:1-4, we read about Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. When you read about this, the comparison of Jesus’ time in the wilderness is like the Israelites’ years in the wilderness. Jesus fasted for 40 days, and was tempted by Satan. The Israelites wandered for 40 years, and were tested by God. The big difference is how they each responded: the Israelites disobeyed God and grumbled about their needs and desires, but Jesus conquered his desire to eat and the temptations that followed. The beauty is that God still provided for both of them what they needed most.
What the Israelites ate was something they were not familiar with. It was called “manna”.
“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
You might recognize verse 3, as this is what Jesus said to the devil when he was being tempted. Jesus relied on Scripture to deal with the devil’s temptations. He knew that the words of the Lord were like manna, in that they proceeded from the mouth of God. Jesus didn’t need to eat the bread of temptation, because he was full of the Holy Spirit, who reminded Him about scripture He could relate to at that very moment. So He spoke the truth, which led Satan to leave him alone for the time being.
For both of them, Jesus and the Israelites, it was a time of testing for obedience. The ESV study guide puts it this way: “Remembrance is demonstrated in obedience. The wilderness test was to reveal the state of Israel’s heart.” To remember promises, covenants, God’s goodness and his mercies, is to be obedient to what He has said and asked of you, and vice versa. For Jesus, He remembered what God was trying to teach the Israelites back then, so he used that passage to show that He trusted God to supply all of his needs. The ESV concludes it this way: “Satisfying one’s need for food is not as important as trusting and obeying God.”
Consider communion. Jesus asked us to, “Do this is remembrance of Me.”
He took the bread, gave thanks for it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. He said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” He took the cup saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood….Scripture must be fulfilled in me.” Luke 22:19-20, 37a
When we come to the table of the Lord, we remember his sacrifice, his promises, his commandments. We recognize that He is our bread of life and that He fully satisfies us. We recognize that his blood was poured out for us, that we might drink the blessings of God in our life.
Jesus chose to overcome his personal desire of avoiding the “cup of suffering”, by obeying the Father’s desire for him to fully give of himself, and drank from that cup down to the last drop. His action of pure love, by becoming the sacrificial lamb, gives us the opportunity to dine at the Lord’s table. When I say the Lord’s table, it is reflective of both communion, and the heavenly table with God.
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this is said about the Spirit…”
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Food for thought: When I first started writing these blogs, I wrote ahead, getting as many as seven drafts ready to have available for whenever I needed one. I had so many just sitting there, that I lost touch with what had been posted that day and it began to put a bad taste in my mouth. It was as though the Lord was showing me that I needed to rely on His provision daily, as with the manna. If I wrote too far in advance, it became as though bad, moldy, old. So, now I depend fully on His daily provision for that inspiration.
Fun facts: According to the Guinness World Records, the longest table was set on June 10, 2018. It was in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, and was 9,493 feet 7 inches long. It served 6,000 members of the general public.
Photo by: Avel Chuklanov – Traditional meal in Mabalcat, Philippines