Echoes From the Campfire

But unless you’ve fought the battle and unless you’ve won the war
    The taste of victory sometimes ain’t so sweet.”
                –Red Steagall  (“Paw-Paw”)

    “When war broke out again, David went out and fought against the Philistines. He defeated them with such a great force that they fled from him.”
                –1 Samuel 19:8 (HCSB)
It was custom, it was expected, that whenever we came off a long trip and went to Granny’s house that she would always have the soup on.  She knew that we would be tired and would be needing something to eat.  The same was true if we visited Grandma.  She might not have soup on but there was always something to eat.  Most always, at both places, there was some kind of dessert.  The weary travelers not only needed nourishment, but they needed to be given a treat.  Since that time I have tried to keep up the tradition.  I usually don’t put soup on, usually it’s chili, but those coming know that there will be something waiting for them.  Of course, the coffee pot is always on.
    Reading the first twenty-one verses of Psalm 22, David is in the doldrums.  Enemies are after him, depression is upon him, the journey has become extremely wearisome.  However, he knows, there is an assurance within him, that soon there will be relief.  Soon he will arrive at home and be greeted with food that will satisfy.  Let’s finish Psalm 22 (HCSB).

         22 – I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the congregation.
         23 – You who fear Yahweh, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! All you descendants of Israel, revere Him!
         24 – For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He did not hide His face from him but listened when he cried to Him for help.
         25 – I will give praise in the great congregation because of You; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You.
         26 – The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise Him. May your hearts live forever!
         27 – All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations will bow down before You,
         28 – for kingship belongs to the Lord; He rules over the nations.
         29 – All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before Him—even the one who cannot preserve his life.
         30 – Their descendants will serve Him; the next generation will be told about the Lord.
         31 – They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness—what He has done.

David finds that not only is his hunger satisfied, but his soul has also been renewed.  He gains strength, rises again, and states that he will fulfill his vows.  

         “From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
          Through gates of pearl stream in countless host,
          Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
          Alleluia!  Alleluia!”
                    –William H. How

    No matter how far we travel.  No matter how arduous the journey may be, the obstacles thrown at us, the enemies faced, there is hope and there is victory.  This is assured if we do not quit.  Look at these verses compared to the previous ones in the Psalm.  Someone has written that these are the resurrection; the aftermath of the previous verses.
    However, though food is provided, we must eat.  There will be a feast, it is up to us to complete the journey so that we can make it to our seat at the table.  When you eat of the Lord’s Supper, are you satisfied?  Take inventory, my fellow traveler.  Never lose heart; never quit.  There is a table spread waiting for you when you get to the end of your journey; when you get home.

         “It is possible to die of starvation at the door of a granary.  By the act of faith in Jesus Christ, partake of the food.  See that it becomes yours by your own taking of it into the very depths of your heart.”
                     –Alexander Maclaren