When I was a college student in Florida, Rose was a widow who lived nearby. Many of us students regularly visited her.
One evening, my friend, Mike, popped in at dinner time and Rose invited him in. They visited for a few moments … that is, until Mike noticed her kitchen table was set for two.
“Oh Rose,” he said, “I didn’t realize you were having a guest for dinner. I will scoot out.”
She stopped him, and explained that ever since her husband died over 30 years earlier she always set two places at her table.
Mike assumed the second place setting was to remind her of her late husband, but Rose corrected him.
“Oh, no,” she shared, “I set a place at my table every evening for Jesus. I sit with Him, listen to Him, and expect Him to be with me.”
Oh, girl, don’t you just love that?! I know I do!
For most of us, tables are special places. We gather at them, spend time together, and—like Rose—even invite Jesus to join us at them. (Although, most of us don’t literally set a place for Him, but maybe we should start!?)
Did you know that in Scripture, tables are meaningful too?
One of my favorite tables in Scripture is in Psalm 23. David compares God to a generous host who prepares a very special table for us.
David doesn’t mean a table at a five-star restaurant or one carefully set with your grandma’s fine china. This isn’t our modern 21st-century type of dinner. Instead, this table is the kind you’d find at an ancient Hebrew banquet.
Here, a wealthy, benevolent host would invite the people he favored to a feast at his table. And, when he did, that meant they were going to have all they needed, they were under his protection, and they’d experience all the honor and blessing that came from being with him.
The table represented provision, protection, and presence.
Even though David wrote this thousands of years ago, God’s “table” is one you and I are still invited to daily. God offers us the opportunity to partake of the good things He has for us.
And, do you know what the best part is? You and I are always welcome. There is always a seat at His table for us.
Our invitation to sit at God’s table has nothing to do with our merit—what we bring to the table. Our invitation is based on God. His character sets the table and His grace saves us a seat.
Have you accepted His invitation?
Accepting God’s invitation to sit at His table is our way of receiving all He wants to give us.
Here are three areas I see His table in my daily life—and I hope you do too.
1. God’s Table Represents Provision
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
When you pull up a seat at God’s table, you receive His provision. Sometimes God’s provision is obvious to us. We may see it in our family, our house or job, or in an answer to prayer.
When life is painful, though, sometimes His provision is more difficult to recognize, and we have to look hard to see it. But, sister, if we look, we will spot it.
I recently saw His provision in a light therapy box. I’ve been struggling with depression and learned it could likely be from my eyes not processing light—kind of like Seasonal Affective Disorder every day of the year! (For my new readers, I am blind, that’s why this is a big deal!) This news is hopeful, so I consider the light therapy box God’s provision.
2. God’s Table Represents Protection
“Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1)
When you accept the invitation to sit at God’s table, you are saying, “I expect to receive God’s protection.” God promises His protection to those who take refuge in Him.
There are times we need spiritual protection from the darts of the enemy, or we need physical protection from danger. We may even need protection from worry or stress or unbelief.
I travel a lot and I’m aware of His protection every time I get into a car or board a plane. God’s watchful eye and protective hand are evident to me all the time!
3. God’s Table Represents Presence
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Sitting at God’s table reminds us that God is with us. We are never truly alone or isolated. Like Rose, we can talk to Him as if He is walking with us, sitting with us, and conversing with us—because He is.
Not too long ago, I was listening to John 14, and I felt His nearness. I heard His voice reassuring me that He was speaking to me, and reminding me that He had overcome the world and I could have peace in Him.
Experiencing God’s presence throughout the day in all sorts of ways is the way we “sit at His table.”
Every day, you and I wake up fully dressed in the garment of salvation. Which means, His provision, protection, and presence are prepared for us daily. So pull up a chair and enjoy your seat at God’s table today!
My prayer for you is that you are enjoying your seat at God’s table. And I’m also praying that my Bible study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me (LifeWay, August 2018), will help you further explore the good things God has for you.
What’s one way you have noticed God’s provision, protection, or presence in your life today?