Mark D. Roberts

Feeding on God’s Abundance

READ Psalm 36:1-12

 How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.

Psalm 36:7-8

When I was growing up in Glendale, California, I lived about a quarter-mile from my grandparents. In fact, their house was on my route home from school, and I often stopped in to visit them. Now, to be sure, I loved my grandparents and enjoyed their company. But I must confess that one reason I was such a regular guest had to do with food. They had plenty of it, including some of my favorite items. My grandmother was always sure to have an abundance of ice cream and Doritos. I don’t think these items helped me to be healthier, but they surely made my life happier. I will never forget the joy of sitting in my grandparents’ breakfast room, feasting on the abundance of their house and enjoying their company.
Psalm 36:7-8 uses a similar image to speak of how God feeds us “from the abundance of [his] own house.” Notice that the “us” in this case is not only God’s chosen people. Rather, “all humanity” receives the blessing of God’s goodness.
If you were to read the original Hebrew of verse 8, you might be surprised by what you found. Where our English says, “You feed them from the abundance of your own house,” the original language reads, “They are satiated from the fat of your house.” In the world of ancient Israel, fat was associated with feasting, even with celebrations in the temple. God feeds us, not only with real food that is delicious, but with the even tastier joys of his presence. He wants our relationship with him to be something wonderful, not just something we have to do because it’s right. In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, our chief purpose in life is to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.” In more poetic language, we feast from the “fat” of his house and drink from his “river of delights.”
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you feasted from the abundance of God’s house? How can we participate in this feast on a regular basis? When do you enjoy God the most?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious God, for inviting me to feed “from the abundance of your own house.” Thank you for “stocking your shelves” with that which I love to eat. I know, Lord, that I should want to be with you simply for fellowship. But the fact that you bless me so richly draws me to you, rather like ice cream and Doritos.
Dear Lord, teach me to feed regularly from your abundance. Help me to visit you often, to spend time with you, to sample your delights.
All praise be to you, God of abundance, for your innumerable gifts to me. Amen.
Photo: My grandparents and me in around 1985.


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