God's Banqueting House
"He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love!" (Song of Solomon 2:4)
"HE brought me!" All of grace! He justifies! He glorifies! The top-stone is brought forth, the banqueting house is entered with shoutings, saying, "Grace, grace unto it!" Believer, contemplate the journey ended, the course finished, the victory won. Seated at the marriage feast of the Lamb in glory, guest talking to guest with bounding hearts — recounting their Lord's dealings on earth — the watchword circulating from tongue to tongue, "He has done all things well!"
Angels and archangels, too, will be participants in that banquet of glory; and bright seraphs, who never knew what it was to have a heart of sin or to shed a tear of sorrow. But, for this reason, there will be one element of joy peculiar to the Redeemed, into which the other unfallen guests cannot enter — the "joy of contrast." How will this present world's "great tribulation" augment the bliss of a world at once sinless and sorrowless! How will earth's woe-worn cheek, and sin-stricken spirit, and tear-dimmed eye — enhance the glories of that perfect state, where there is not that symbol of sadness, nor the solitary trace of one lingering tear-drop!
Then will be realized that sweet paradox: "They rest" — "They rest not!" "The rest without a rest." "They rest" — the eternal pause and cessation from all the feverish disquietudes of this world's sins and sorrows; all that would disturb the rapture of a holy repose. And yet, it is but the restless activity of holiness — the Divine energy of beings whose grand element of happiness is employment in the service and executing of the will of God. In this "they cease not day nor night."
It is sublimely said of the God before whom they hymn their anthems and cast their crowns, that "He inhabits the praises of eternity!" My soul, seek often to ponder, in the midst of your days of sadness, the joys of that eternal banqueting house.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain!" (Revelation 21:4). One moment at that banquet table — one crumb of the heavenly manna — one draught from the river of life — and all the bitter experiences of the valley of tears will be obliterated and forgotten!
Look upwards even now, and behold your dear Lord preparing for you this glorious "feast of fat things!" "Do not be troubled. There are many rooms in My Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am!" He has Himself entered the banqueting house as the pledge and forerunner of the coming guests. He, the first Sheaf of the mighty harvest, has been waved before God in the temple of the New Jerusalem, as a pledge of the immortal sheaves still to be gathered into the heavenly garner!
The invitation is issued, "Come, for all things are ready!" "The feast has been prepared, and choice meats have been cooked. Everything is ready. Hurry to the wedding banquet!" (Matthew 22:4). Reader, prepare for the feast — suitably attire yourself for such a glorious banquet. Put on your beautiful garments — that righteousness of Jesus, without which you cannot be accepted — that holiness of heart, without which no one can see the Lord. Soon shall the little hour of life's unquiet dream be over; and then, oh the glorious surprise of being ushered into that banqueting table — to know, forever — the blessedness of those "who are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb!"
With the prospect of such joys awaiting me in the morning of immortality, with the dark nights of death before me, and the grave my couch, I shall be able to say, even of its lonely chamber, "I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me live in safety!" (Psalm 4:8).
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