He Is ALWAYS The Right Choice.
Buyer’s remorse. The regret you feel, the doubt that comes, immediately after the purchase of a product, especially an expensive one. I am positive that we all have felt it. A sense that perhaps the item is not quite right or that it was too costly or that something better might be right around the corner. In my early twenties I purchased a car that quickly revealed itself to be a lemon—constant repairs, unsatisfactory performance, a huge pain. And the frustrating thing was that in the days leading up to the purchase, I felt so confident. Then, blah; the car was a bust. The lesson I learned… buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse doesn’t happen only when purchasing things. “Did I take the right job?” “Should I have pursued that relationship instead?” “Was that the right thing to say or do at that moment?” Second guessing ourselves could be our full-time job! And there’s a good reason for that—we are not omniscient. We don’t know everything. We don’t know the future. So it is hard to know if we’ve made the right choice, when we don’t know what is coming.
One of the more dramatic images in the Bible is in Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Wow! The idea of Jesus standing at the door of your heart, knocking, desiring to come in and be with you, is a truly powerful picture. Of course, the choice is obvious—OPEN THE DOOR! If there is a decision you will make that should have no buyer’s remorse attached to it, it would be to invite Jesus in so you might dine together.
The idea of fellowshipping together over a meal is a popular one in the Bible. Unlike modern America, where sharing a meal together is not especially meaningful, in ancient times, eating together was a powerful expression of a tangible relationship. If you ate together, there was a necessary connection and obligation to one another. This was especially true for the host—if you were welcomed to someone’s table, they were assuming responsibility for you in crucial ways.
Where you turn then to get a meal is an important action. Who is the host at your table dictates all—how you will be nurtured, your security, your present and future. The choice of host is not random or arbitrary, it is an expression of your confidence; which host do I trust with my life?
There is a reason why Jesus is at the center of the table in all the paintings you have seen of the Last Supper. He is the host. On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), Jesus is invited in to join the two disciples, but then at the dinner, He takes over the role of the host. While it might look like He is the guest, in reality, it is His table. He is serving. You might think you are welcoming Jesus into your heart as a visitor, but He will quickly become the host.
- The host has responsibility for preparing the meal—Jesus is sovereign over every aspect of your life, arranging things so that you might experience His blessing.
- The host serves the meal—Jesus provides exactly what you need at exactly the right time to grow and mature as He deems appropriate. We may not like the food placed in front of us, but it is His meal.
- The host prays and sets the tone for the meal—Jesus intercedes for us and calls us to live with great joy and gladness in His presence.
- The host dictates the tempo of the meal—Jesus decides when it is best for us to move from one dish to another, from one experience to another. We may not like His timing, but He is the host!
There is, of course, always the possibility that when we sit down at a particular meal with our Lord, we might not like what we see. There might be the temptation to look longingly at other tables and wonder if we’ve made the right choice. But, there need never be a moment of buyer’s remorse at the table of the Lord; for He is always the right choice. He is always the right host. We are blessed to be in His presence.
As we prepare for worship this Sunday, read Psalm 23.
1. Last week we focused on the metaphor of a shepherd in verses 1-4. There is some debate whether the metaphor shifts in verse 5 or not. If we stick with the shepherd/sheep metaphor, what might verse 5 mean?
2. If the metaphor does shift from that of a shepherd, what metaphor might the author be using in verse 5? What implications are present?
3. How and why might the table be “in the presence of my enemies”? What enemies might the author have in mind?
4. What is accomplished with oil on the head?
5. How can you testify to your “cup running over”? Is this always the truth? If not, why not? If so, why don’t we recognize it as such?
6. Why would these two qualities (goodness and mercy) “follow” the author? What does that mean?
7. What is the point of the last line? Is it merely to promise heaven to Christians? What else might be incorporated in this statement?