A Feast Fit for a King
Not long from now we will be gathered around decorated dining room tables laden with oven-roasted turkey, steamy dressing, mashed potatoes drenched with gravy, sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, and, of course, pumpkin pie with a billowy dollop of whipped cream. I don’t know about you, but the thought is enough to make my mouth water.
Do you know that as much as we will enjoy our thanksgiving meal in a week, there is a feast that God enjoys even more? There is, and we find it mentioned in the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews.
Under the Old covenant, God’s people were required to offer animal or grain sacrifices as a symbol of their relationship with God. But, as the writer of Hebrews explains, that because of the complete work of Christ on the cross, those sacrifices are no longer necessary. Instead, we are charged under the New Covenant to “…continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15).
Although a sacrifice of praise is a staple of the New Covenant, it has its roots in the Old Covenant. Listen to what David says of God’s children in Psalm 107:22,”Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Similarly, the prophet Hosea says, “…we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.”(14:2c).
Why is our sacrifice of praise so important? Why is our thanksgiving so pleasing to God? Paul gives us a hint in Colossians 2:7 when he says, “… [You are] rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” God made us for His pleasure, and it is our gratitude that is the evidence that we truly belong to Him. Offering continuous praise to the Lord is a product of our genuine faith.
Secondly, we are commanded to give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Isn’t it comforting to know that this verse doesn’t say to be grateful for all things but in all things we are to thank Him? Life brings some difficult things at times, but we can be confident knowing that, whatever comes our way God will use it to accomplish his purposes for our good and for His glory. That is something for which we can be truly grateful. We bring no greater joy to God than when we are obedient to Him, even in dark times, praising Him, knowing He is still in control.
Lastly, we are grateful to God because He has given so much to us. Because we live in the greatest country on earth, we are free, safe, and enjoy bountiful blessings. But He provides us with so much more. Listen to King David’s thanksgiving list found in Psalm 103: 1-5:
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
And that is just an excerpt… God has blessed us in so many ways. Yes, He provides for our present physical needs, and He has already prepared for our future. But He has saved the best for last. We haven’t even seen heaven yet!
So… before you sit down at your own feast, offer God the fruit of your lips. It is the only feast fit for our King.