It’s a prominent theme throughout Scripture, and it happens to be one my favorite lines ever from any worship song.
“Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table…Jesus, thank You.”
I feel so strongly about the importance of this topic that I’ve put off writing about it for a while. I didn’t want my words to fall short or my post to be inadequate. Truthfully though, when writing about the glory of God and the height and depth and width and breadth of His grace, my words will always fall short and my descriptions will always be inadequate. But human abilities are still gifts and outlets like this blog are blessings, especially when we choose to do what we can with what we’ve been given to glorify our King.
So, back to this topic…I figure today is as good a day as any to write about it. Here goes.
ONCE HIS ENEMY
“We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” That’s what the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:3. God, however, cannot tolerate wrongdoing, for His eyes are too pure to even look upon evil (Habakkuk 1:13). If God is the epitome of holiness, righteousness, and purity, and we are, by nature, children of wrath, that can only mean one thing – that outside of Christ, we are His enemies. Scripture confirms that in Romans 5:10.
“For if, while were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life.”
There it is…clear as day. “While we were His enemies…” Christ gave His life for us while we were enemies of God. What great and unfathomable love!
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8.
If it were not for Jesus and His atoning sacrifice, we would have no place in the household of God. It is only in and through Christ that we can be called members of the household of God. No longer enemies, but heirs. No longer foes, but children. It is only in and through Christ that we have a place at the table of God.
NOW SEATED AT HIS TABLE
Table fellowship is a big deal throughout the Bible. In the ancient world, to invite someone to sit at your table was the highest form of social approval and acceptance. That’s part of the reason why the Pharisees were outraged that Jesus made a habit of reclining at table and eating with tax collectors and sinners.
Consider for a moment the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. If you’re not familiar with the story, I recommend that you read it (it’s only 13 verses long).
Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan, was crippled in both his feet. By all conventional standards, King David had no reason to associate with a person like that. However, for the sake of the covenant he had made with Jonathan, David welcomed Mephibosheth into his household and invited him to eat at his table all the days of his life (2 Samuel 9:7). Mephibosheth couldn’t understand David’s unwarranted kindness, even asking God’s anointed king why he should notice “a dead dog like [himself]?” It was by grace, for the sake of a covenant.
Friend in Christ, that is the story of our salvation.
Dead in sin, crippled by evil, lame to any good work…only to be made alive and brought near in Christ…by grace, for the sake of a covenant (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5).
“Once His enemy, now seated at His table…”
JESUS, THANK YOU
Not only did Mephibosheth get to sit at the table of the king, but he also got to feast at the table of the king. How true that is for us as well. Not only do we get to call ourselves children of God, but we also get to enjoy manifold blessings that flow from that reality. Because we have been ransomed by Christ and because we sit at His table, we are no longer slaves to sin. We are free to feast on His Word, His forgiveness, and His joy. Because of His blood, we are welcome guests.
Jesus, thank you for securing me a place at Your Father’s table.
If you find this theme as beautifully affecting as I do, take a listen to Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands, a hymn by Charles Spurgeon. The second stanza goes like this.
What food luxurious loads the board, when at His table sits the Lord. The wine how rich, the bread how sweet, when Jesus deigns the guests to meet.”