Matins Devotion: June 20, 2023
With men, a feast is rarely just a feast. When men sit down together before an abundance of food and wine, there is almost always some kind of ulterior motive, some desire to use the feast to improve your social standing or to conscript the man across to the table into the service of your pride. This is something Jesus warns us about when He rebukes the Pharisees for how they choose places of honor at the feasts they attend and how they only invite to their feasts those who can return the favor and cover them in earthly glory.
It’s also something that Solomon warns us about in our reading from the Proverbs today. When he instructs his son to put a knife to his throat to suppress his appetite, when he tells his son to practice self-restraint as he gazes upon the sumptuous delicacies before him, he’s saying “a feast is rarely just a feast. And here the ruler who has invited you is determining your level of self-restraint. He’s sizing you up to determine whether you are of use to him or not. And he concludes that you aren’t, watch out because the feast here isn’t a feast. It’s an audition.”
And in all of this, Solomon begins weaving a tale that Jesus will complete with His various parables about great banquets and wedding feasts. In all of this, Solomon begins showing us how gloriously different our God is from the rulers of the world. For earthly kings, a feast is not just a feast. But for Jesus, that’s all a feast is–a celebration of how He gave up everything, ripped you out of the hands of the enemy ruler, and now rules over you in love and mercy.
So come take your place at the feast of the King who has no ulterior motive, the King who does not need you to make Him more glorious or powerful, the King who simply wants you, His son by His side. Come eat the bread and drink the wine of the King who is not eyeballing you or testing you to see if you are of value to Him because He already knows your value. He already knows that you were more precious to Him than the very blood from Christ’s veins. Come recline at the table of the King who is throwing this feast because He wants nothing other than for you to live with Him forever.