May 5, 2019
As we prepare for the Lord’s Supper, please open your Bibles to Psalm 36. You may be thinking, “Wait, Pastor Dave are trying to find the Lord’s Supper in Ps.36? No. But Ps.36 brings the Lord’s Supper to my mind.
In fact, throughout the Bible we find numerous meals of fellowship being eaten in the presence of God. Whether it is at Mt. Sinai or in the home of the two followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, people are seen eating in the presence of God. They are having table fellowship with God and each other.
Psalm 36 is somewhat of a wisdom psalm not unlike Ps.1. Two ways are presented in Ps.36. As we look at this Psalm, I want to suggest that believers enter into the blessing of God’s goodness at the Lord’s Supper.
I. THE LORD’S SUPPER REALIGNS US TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Ps.36:1-6
v.1-6. “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil. Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.”
In these verses there is a contrast between two distinct ways, the way of this world and the way of God’s kingdom. The way of this world rejects any regard for God. When a person has disregard for God it shows that their heart is filled with wickedness, trouble, deceit, and pride. Now do not misunderstand what the psalmist is doing here. Whenever you establish two ways of being you are obviously painting with a broad brush. The psalmist is not saying that everyone in this world is as evil and deceitful, and prideful as they could possibly be. But if they disregard God, does the degree of their wickedness really make all that much difference? A nice person may have a form of religion, even Christianity, and still ignore God. They ignore and shun God in a nice way, but in the end they have no fear of God. Their religion is just that, religion!
In v.5-6 we read about the way of God’s kingdom. God is loving. There is no end to his love. It reaches into the heavens. The righteousness of God is as majestic as the mountains. His judgments are deep as the deepest sea. Yet, as great as God is, salvation is found in him for both man and beast. God takes it upon himself to save us from our sinful pride and wickedness. This is how it is with God and his kingdom.
When we come to the Lord’s Table this distinction between the way of the world and the way of God is very clear. This table speaks of God’s love, righteousness, and judgement displayed in Jesus Christ. This table is for those who have entered into the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. It is the Lord’s Table. He is the host at the table. The assumption is that those who come to the Lord’s Table are submitted to the Lord in fellowship with him. They know him and he knows them. They have embraced Jesus by faith for the forgiveness of their sins and the receiving of his resurrection life. They are living in his righteousness and seeking his wisdom.
If a person does not fear God and flatters himself in his own eyes, thinking that he can stand before God on his own goodness, that person deceives himself. The bread and juice have no real significance for such a person.
Because this table represents the way of God unto salvation it is important for a person to discern their condition before God. Do you know God through faith in Jesus Christ? If you come to the table you are professing to have renounced the way of this world in order to embrace the way of God. When you come to the table you have opportunity to realign your life with God and his kingdom. In 1Jn.1:6 it says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” If you have not embraced the salvation of God in Jesus Christ I encourage you continue listening because in v.7-9 we see that…
II. THE LORD’S SUPPER SPEAKS OF GOD’S ABUNDANT GRACE. Ps.36:7-9
v.7-9. “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”
The Lord’s Table is not a place of wrath and judgment. It is a place of love and refuge. It speaks of God pouring out his love for us in Christ Jesus because of our sin. It speaks a good word of salvation. At the Lord’s Table we recognize that Jesus gave his life. The broken bread speaks of his broken body. The cup speaks of his blood poured out for our sakes. Jesus said, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
In v.8 we read of table fellowship with God. Those who take refuge in God feast on the abundance of his house. They drink from the river of his delights. With God there is a fountain of life flowing out from the cross of Jesus Christ through his resurrection to eternal life. And that fountain is flowing to all who embrace Jesus as Savior, Lord and King.
“Majestic sweetness sits enthroned, Upon the Savior's brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace o'erflow. 2) No mortal can with Him compare, Among the sons of men; Fairer is He than all the fair, That fill the heavenly train. 3) To Him I owe my life and breath, And all the joys I have; He makes me triumph over death, And saves me from the grave. 4) Since from His bounty I receive Such proofs of love divine, Had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord, they should all be Thine.” The bread, the cup are proofs of love divine in Jesus Christ.
The really important question is about your relationship with Jesus. It is not just about whether your sins have been forgiven. Forgiveness of sins is an important step in receiving a new life. And the new life that Jesus gives is not just a reservation in heaven. His new life begins here and now. When I married Angie I received a new life. I’m not waiting for that new life with Angie to kick in at a future time. As soon as we were married our new life together began. It is the same with Jesus. His life is in us the moment we believe.
When we come to the Lord’s Table we affirm Christ’s life in us. We submit to Christ’s life in us. We draw upon Jesus Christ, the fountain of life.
Some years ago we were visiting my mom in Michigan. I wake up early. And through the wall, I was able to hear my mother having her devotions with the Lord. In her prayer she addressed God, “O fount of every blessing.” Have you embraced Jesus as your Savior, Lord and King? When you eat the bread and drink the cup, are you feasting on the abundance of God’s house, drinking from the river of God’s delights in Christ Jesus? The Lord’s Supper speaks of God’s abundant grace.
III. THE LORD’S SUPPER AFFIRMS OUR ETERNAL LIVING WITH CHRIST. Ps.36:10-12
v.10-12. “Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.”
These verses are a prayer to God for his ongoing love and righteousness in our lives. They are a prayer for God’s ongoing protection from the arrogance of the wicked. Well, certainly we see a great deal of wickedness and arrogance in this world. Sometimes we are victims of this wickedness. Our souls and bodies bear the marks of such wickedness and arrogance. But there is another way in which the foot of arrogance comes upon us. Sometimes we ourselves are drawn into acting in arrogant ways. Sometimes wickedness drives us away from the Lord as we pursue thoughts, activities and conversations that do not honor the Lord.
The ongoing practice of the Lord’s Supper speaks of the future. We eat the bread and drink the cup recognizing that it is Christ in us who holds us in his steadfast love every day. If we are going to avoid the arrogance of the wicked, if we are going to turn away from sin, then we need to be trusting in the steadfast love and righteousness of the Lord. The Lord’s Supper speaks about this to us. We need Jesus all the day long.
So this morning as we come to the Lord’s Table, let our eating and drinking be a prayer to God that we will remain in his love and walk in his righteousness day by day until we shine like the sun in the kingdom of our heavenly Father. Eternal living is about moment by moment life with Christ affirmed in the Lord’s Supper. Let us come to the table of the Lord!