Updated: May 17, 2019
By Peter McArthur
In Exodus chapter 24 the Lord commands Moses and Aaron, with 72 others, to ascend Mount Sinai. There they saw God, and they ate and drank.
"Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank." (Exodus 24: 10-11)
A slightly more accurate translation could read: “…as they were eating and drinking they saw God…” But what did they eat and drink? Whatever this was they nevertheless had a table prepared for them by the Lord. They sat at His table!
Later (in Exo. Chapter 23) Moses alone went up the mountain, while Aaron was left below. We are told that Moses was delayed. While this happened the Israelites made the golden calf. It’s as if they “ate” something of their own making. They had in fact prepared their own table, their very own feast, even though they justified it as a “feast to the Lord”.
Now when Aaron saw this he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the YHWH”. So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. (Exo 32:5-6).
They didn’t want to know what the Lord had provided; they didn’t wait for Moses to come down with a word from on high. They forged ahead with their own “food”. In these days we could say that the Lord is indeed preparing a table for us to eat at. What we choose to eat of is vital for the next season of the Lord.
Many modern prophets have been saying there is a coming and marked increase in dreams, both to the saved and unsaved. To the saved for encouragement. To the unsaved to drive them to madness! I find an echo of this in the following text. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead. (Eccles. 9:3)
When the saved dream dreams of the Lord, their hearts will be at peace. This will be due to their righteousness, even amid tribulation and persecution. But when the unsaved dream and “see” what is coming on the face of the earth, they will become restless, with great anxiety. More and more their wickedness and horror will cause them to go insane. The rejection of truth will always bring about opposition to the Lord and cause the mind to be greatly disturbed.
The question we should now ask ourselves is, “at what table do we find nourishment?”
Many ministries are moving to and from amongst the Body of Christ. Some are a blessing; some are dangerous through their pride of false revelations and soulish teachings. Spiritual food is being presented in copious amounts at present. So much teaching! So many prophecies. So many “great ones” of God presenting themselves!
So much danger.
Jesus Christ truly needs to be Lord and Master over our spiritual food in these days. I heard of church in the USA that decided to fast and pray for 3 months because it had realised it was living from pre-conceived doctrines that weren’t entirely in accordance with the Word.
What a great thing for a group of believers to do. I have often wondered what would happen if congregation after congregation sat down for a couple of months and went through their bibles to see if their cherished doctrines actually measured up with the Word. If they didn’t, would they have the courage to jettison or change their teachings? What a day that would be in the Body of Christ.
How the Lord needs to be allowed to feed us from His prepared table, and not that of our own setting and fancies. Biblically speaking a “table” means “the place of God’s covenant”. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. (Numbers 25:2)
When you eat at table you are identifying yourself with the god of that table. Tables represent gods. See how Moses tries to rectify this in Exodus 32:20. There he causes the Israelites to drink the powdered image of the calf mixed with water. And note also how the disciple’s eyes were opened at Emmaus when at table they had a revelation of the stranger among them – Jesus! Using the imagery of table manners, I sense we need to have protocol (good spiritual manners) and eat only from what the Lord sets before us. Eating what is given at each season of God.
Here is a principle to consider: When you eat what the Lord gives you, others will also want to eat from you!
It’s a sin to feed people what the Lord has NOT given you to eat first. Otherwise you will only feed them your thoughts and teachings. There is far too much second-hand teaching passed around in the Body of Christ these days. Eat for yourself, digest it well, and only then pass it onto others. Some of this personal “eating” may take many, many months (and in some cases years) before you have digested what the Lord gave. When it has done its work in you first, then you may feed others. Not before!
Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. (Heb. 13:9-10)
When the Lord sets a table, we might not like what’s on it – but He is looking for our response. He is after those who will respond to His Spirit. Sometimes we find many “dishes” set before us, but only ONE might be of God. It’s then we need to use our spiritual discernment. Learn to increase this.
The “vessel” or “dish” may not actually appeal to us – but it’s the FOOD that’s important.
Wisdom speaks and says, “Come, eat of my food and drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding” (Prov. 9:5-6). It has been said that Wisdom not only supplies the right principles of life, but also forbids the wrong principles. Choices are being laid upon our table by the Lord. Let us discern well and eat gratefully!