Daily Devotion: What is God’s Great Feast? Who is Invited?

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Bible Readings for Saturday, May 7th, 2011 – The 3rd Week of Easter

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

Isaiah 25:6-9

Luke 14:12-14

  • What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me? – Psalm 116:12
  • On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. – Isaiah 25:6
  • But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. – Luke 14:13

God’s Great Feast on the Mountain

I adore these passages. They are so uplifting and affirming!

I know, you’re thinking I love to eat, and I do. However, I love these passages for much more important reasons.

In today’s reading from Isaiah 25, we learn about God’s great feast on the mountaintop, where all is revealed and death is utterly and finally destroyed. Some say this is a prophecy of the “end times” (whatever that is). I believe this is a allusion to salvation through Christ, or his crucifixion, not the “end times”. I believe this “great feast” has already occurred, over two thousand years ago…

  • “…a feast of rich food…filled with marrow…” (Isaiah 25:6) = Food and bread are often a biblical symbol for God’s Word (made flesh), God’s manna, the sustenance of the soul. The richer the food, the more substantial and meaningful the teaching or axiom. For example:

Luke 22

19. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Hebrews 5

12. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13. for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

  • …a feast of well-aged wines…strained clear…” (Isaiah 25:6) = Wine is one of our most familiar symbols of God’s new covenant, a potent symbol of selflessness and love. For the wine to be “strained clear” means that the unwieldy Old Covenant (the Law of Moses) which is unclear and full of contaminants, has been clarified, refined, and all the bitter nastiness strained out. The confusing “Laws of Righteousness” have been replaced with the perfectly, beautifully simple new Law of Love.

Luke 22

20. And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Hebrews 8

13. In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Jeremiah 31

31. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

  • “…And he will destroy…the shroud that is cast over all peoples…the veil that is spread over all nations…he will swallow up death forever…” (Isaiah 25:7-8) = The shroud is a pretty blatant reference to death, and through it’s destruction we can find comfort in God’s covenant promise. We are saved from the ravages of death! However the “shroud” is also a more subtle reference to the spiritual death that comes from any separation from God. In most cases, religion tries to set up a “shroud” or “curtain” between the believer and God, and access is always medaited by the priests. At the Great Feast (Christ’s crucifixion), God is declaring an end to doctrinal or dogmatic separation. No more will the temple of religion dictate the substance of our relationship with God.

Mark 15

37. And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38. And the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Who Is Invited to the Great Feast of God?

The Great Feast becomes even more thrilling when we consider who Jesus advised us we should be inviting to our own feasts:

“When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.
13. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Should we dare to assume that God would do the same? Of course we should. God is not a hypocrite: God does as God wills for us to do. In Jesus’ “guest list”, God is revealing to us the divine heart. God invites those who cannot or will not come to the Feast.

We should also look to the cultural and historical context of Jesus’ words for even more shocking meaning. For we remember that the people of Israel assumed if a person was disabled they must be a sinner! They were adamant believers that “bad things happen to bad people.”

John 9

1. As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

We know that this was a false perception, one which Jesus was tirelessly working to combat through his ministry. He rebukes the disciples in the following verse and exposes their lack of compassion by teaching them that the blind man did not sin, in fact, and that through his disability “the works of God might be displayed in him.”

However, this encounter does not change the fact that the rest of Israel, and the rest of the people who heard Jesus’ list of invitees would hear “sinners” instead of “disabled”.

God is inviting those who cannot come, those who will not come to the Great Feast of the New Covenant. Everyone who we would assume is out… is in.

  • “The Poor” = The poor in spirit. Those who think there is no God, or God couldn’t love them. God is particularly fond of them.
  • “The Lame”= Those who are immobilized by dogma and fear. They may desire God, love God, and have tremendous faith, but they are paralyzed from acting in this world because of fear of failure, the threat of judgement, or hateful rhetoric and doctrines. God is particularly fond of them.
  • “The Blind”= The ignorant and the false. Those who are either swept up in false teachings, or even sowing falsehoods. God is particularly fond of them.

Society and religion assume all of the preceding will not be invited to God’s Great Feast, and yet they are clearly on the “guest list”.

Why? Because it is in God’s radical Grace, in God’s immeasurable love for all of us that we will begin to realize true change and progress to our society, our relationships, our priorities and our faith.

It is in our own adoption of God’s “guest list” that we will begin to see the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Isaiah 25

9. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. Dwayne Dugger says:

    Very interesting perspective! This may be off topic, but can you expound on the two men on the cross along side Yeshuah? The one who asked asked Yeshuah to remember him in paradise, did Yeshuah consider that faith? What of the other murderer?

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