October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
A Banquet in the middle of a troubled world. That is how we can describe the tension in Isaiah 25:1-9. On the one hand, a worldly reality of rubble, ruin, and destruction (25:2, 7). On the other hand, God’s reality of faithfulness, refuge for the distressed, a feast of abundance, the wiping away of tears, the removal of disgrace, and joy (25:1, 4, 6, 8, 9). As Fred Gaiser writes about this text, it is perhaps only the truly poor and needy that can appreciate this “banquet of aged wine” and “the best of meat” (25:6) in the midst of dreadful circumstances. Because, he writes, “For us (most of us, anyway), who are more or less affluent and safe, God’s ‘judgment’ becomes a problematic abstraction, and the glorious banquet becomes a terrifying threat of obesity and addiction. Enjoying the fat, the rich marrow, and the abundant wine is beyond-their-wildest-imagination promise for those who rarely see such things. The same things can become repugnant to those who daily have the problem of too much rather than too little.” And yet, we are all in need of God’s banquet in the midst of the unresolvable tensions of our lives. Meal fellowship in the Bible represents community of the closest kind, and the feast gives rise to unexpected abundance in the midst of distressing times. That is what I pray for you today!