Look who’s coming to dinner!

Everyone has a place at God’s table of salvation!

August 7

The Passover meal was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile and by the others in the land who had turned from their immoral customs to worship the LORD, the God of Israel.

Ezra 6:21

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Look who’s coming to dinner!

Many of the Hebrews have returned from exile to Jerusalem.  One of the first things they did upon returning was to rebuild the temple.  They initially encountered opposition but because God was in the project the opposition was turned to support.  Once completed, the temple was dedicated, and the people prepared to celebrate their first Passover in a long time.

What caught my attention about this verse is who ate this Passover meal.  Not only did the Jews eat the Passover but also people from the land.  These would have been the nations that had remained in the land when the children of Israel conquered the land as well as people that the Babylonians would have brought in during their conquests.  These were non-Jews eating the Passover meal.

God’s plan for the Jews had always been to make them a separated people so that the rest of the world could see God and be drawn to Him.  God’s plan has always been to redeem the world through the Jews and we see a beautiful picture here of that happening after the exile.  The Passover meal was a celebration of the salvation of God.  God’s plan of salvation includes everyone who will believe.  No one is to be excluded from that plan.  Regardless of their background or experiences or sins, everyone has a place at God’s table of salvation.  We as a people too often stereotype people as being worthy or not of God’s salvation.  Or we will determine in our minds that someone is beyond saving.  There is no one who is beyond the reach of God.  There is no one who is not invited to the table of salvation.

However, we should be selective about who we allow to share this meal with us.  The Hebrews allowed only those who had turned from their immoral ways to follow God.  Those we allow to get close to us must be described the same way.  Only those who have turned away from their immoral ways and idolatry should be invited to be in close fellowship with us.  That is the only condition that we should put on our relationships with others; nothing else should matter.

It shouldn’t matter how much they can do for you or how much they can give to your ministry or church.  The only thing that should matter is whether or not they have turned from their sin to follow God.  And it doesn’t even matter how well they are doing that; just that they are.  Jesus, help us to offer a seat at your table to any who would follow You.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Ezra 4:24-6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:5-23; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 20:26-27

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