My dining room table is a collecting spot, a study place, and a mentoring area. It is used for family conversations, sorting notes, having coffee with friends, and yes, even for the rare times we want to eat there. Today it has many jars of canned tomato juice and green beans waiting to be put away, a plastic container that is ready to be returned to a sweet friend who gifted us with some yummy Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake, and a glass carafe from the coffee maker that ‘died’ and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. What’s on yours?
In Psalm 23 we are told that God prepares a table for us. David was also very specific about where this table was placed – – in the presence of our enemies. What does that mean? Why, in the midst of a battle, would someone do that?
God prepares the table for me. While I’m watching and waiting. He sets out the gleaming silver, the shining glass, the sparkling crystal. He provides the absolute best for me while my enemies are watching, their eyes popping out of their heads, and their mouths watering. The battle is still going on around me and He serves a sumptuous meal, complete with my favorite dessert. Why? Because he wants them (my enemies) to see how He provides for me.
My enemies, your enemies are real. Perhaps it is the stress of your job…Perhaps you have experienced the meanness of one you thought was a friend… Perhaps someone has spread some vicious, untrue gossip about you…
God is calling you to the table. While there He will serve you in the way only He can. He is a compassionate listener and will delight in having coffee with you. He knows your favorites and will serve you with love and grace. His merciful meatloaf is better than anyone else’s. He dishes up a forgiveness fruit compote that will ‘knock your socks off’. The water in your cup is full of life and never goes dry.
I can hardly wait for Him to seat me. How about you?
Have you ever noticed how many times water is used to describe a Biblical concept throughout the Word? The Old and New Testament use this metaphor. I’m going to focus today on a few of the ways water is connected to Jesus, the Living Water.
Turn to John 1:29-34 and let’s take a look at Jesus’ Baptism. John makes a clear distinction between baptizing (The Greek word here is baptizo and means getting totally wet) with water and the Baptism of the Spirit. Water baptism is obedience to the Lord’s call with a public affirmation of faith. The symbolism here regards the complete washing away of our sin and rising to eternal life from the watery grave. The baptism of the Spirit is what we receive when we acknowledge Christ as our personal Savior. The Spirit completely indwells and covers us, never to leave. It represents us to the world as God’s own.
The first miracle recorded in the Word is His turning the water into wine. This account is found in John 2:1-10. Mary tells Jesus the wine has run out. Not a good thing to happen in a wedding celebrations. It would have been very embarrassing because hospitality was a very big part of life in that time. It is interesting that He appears to say no to His mother. In reality He followed through. On the surface of this miracle it would seem that turning water to wine is the main issue. I think Jesus was starting the pattern of signs that would lead to our understanding that He is the Jehovah Jirah, the God who provides. He wanted us to understand that as the Living Water He alone will provide all our needs.
Jesus uses water again to show the Woman at the Well that she needs to turn away from her sin and start a new life. (Hm-m-m-m-m I see hints of our Baptism concept.) John 4:5-26 tells the whole story. Water is the true fountain of life. One can live longer without food than they can without water. As Jesus speaks to the Samarian Woman she understands and asks where she can get some of this Living Water. Jesus explains His place in the metaphor and she gets it! If you read the next few verses you find that she left her waterpot (a physical manifestation of the need for water) and went into the city to tell the men. They came to see Him. She filled Christ’s desire for us to ‘go and tell’. (Perhaps she is the first missionary…)
There are many water metaphors. Consider Luke 22:10 – You will see a man carrying a pitcher of water….John 19:34 – Water poured out of the wound left by the piercing of His side…Revelation 22:17 – The invitation to freely take the Water of Life.
Water is a visible representation of life from Genesis to Revelation. Such a simple commodity, such an eternal function.
Heavenly Father, Giver of Eternal Life, I have tasted the Living Water. Give me more. Let me feast at your table…Let me drink of the Water. Make it so!