UV 1771/10000 Life, A Feast of Love and not a Feat of Achievement
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Song of Solomon 2 v 4
This uni-verse offers us the enjoyment of relationship, fellowship, provision, transportation and protection. Our physical birth is an invitation to the Lord’s spiritual banquet. Life is meant not to be a feat of accomplishment but a feast of fellowship and enjoyment in the presence of the Lord. IT is meant for enjoyment with God, enjoyment of God and enjoyment for God. We do not have to prove our worth but only need to enjoy the acceptance of us as we are. We need not struggle to justify ourselves. We cannot practice the presence of the Lord as the very expression sounds forced but we can enjoy the presence of the Lord as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. The fragrance of His name and His presence, the power of His Word, the sweetness and variety of His promises, the firmness and strength of His commands, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit are part of the variety of the fare of the spiritual banquet. The words “ He brought me…” implies that the Lord Himself transports us in the spirit like Philip was transported to the Ethiopian and that we need not even arrange our own means of transport to reach the banquet.
We enter His house not with foreboding and fear but with joy. His house is not a house of mourning but a house of rejoicing. We often read the word “banner” as “ban” implying that we misinterpret the Lord to be One who bans all the joys and pleasures of life. He holds a banner of freedom over us, a banner of ownership to warn the enemy that we belong to Him and Him alone. On His banner is written, the dynamic words of love are written according to our daily contextual need: I am the Great I Am: Jehovah Nissi, the One who gives you victory. We only need to do our diligent best, He will do the faithful rest. Jehovah Rapha , the Healer. Jehovah El Shaddai, the Almighty One who strengthens you. Jehovah Jireh, the Provider who gives you what you need today so that you need not worry over what you lack for tomorrow. He builds high walls around us that cannot be breached. He does not hold a record of wrongs that we have committed. He washes us white as snow as if we have never erred or sinned against His holy will. He is not conceited or proud. He is humble and enjoys the company of the humble and broken in spirit. He heals our deep spiritual wounds by pouring in His spirit and His Word. His love is agape or spiritual and selfless, not eros or sensual, not phile or charitable or sympathetic. He does not treat us as servants or as underlings or even as friends but as His beloved family. He Himself serves us our spiritual victuals as the raven fed the prophet Elijah at the brook. We always have a spiritual delicacy or dish floating our way. This is the reason, David wrote the psalm, “He satisfies us as with marrow and fatness.” We miss it if we are not spiritually sensitive. The psalmist also says, "Therefore, Rejoice and again I say " rejoice." Every time we eat a spiritual delicacy, we rejoice. For the spiritually inclined man, it is not an occasional high but a series of highs. It is a parallel to the Epicurian dictum,’ Eat, drink (spiritual food, the Word) and be happy for in so doing you are strengthened for the day and you shall never die.”
Our personal relationship with Him is a continual feast. Our fellowship with Him is never broken or interrupted. We remember and thirst for His love more than the alcoholic desires wine. We suffer a withdrawal syndrome when we do not hear or talk with Him for even a day. There is no limitation on the portions we can partake in the divine banquet. We can enjoy an abundant measure of His goodness and grace. We are not guests who have overstayed but we are His own and we can stay forever. His hospitality will not get worn out or tired. His love and His mercies are fresh every morning like the lily of the valley. He does not consign us to a tiny room in the corner but He dwells with us and in us. We only need to listen to His still small voice inviting us, beckoning us to His side. We may be a nobody in our own eyes but He is deeply interested in us. He does not charge us a fee or expect any obligation in return. He does not want our praise, thanksgiving and worship to be an offering of obligation but a spontaneous response to such awesome love.
Prateep V Philip