A few days ago as I looked out over the lake that borders our back yard, I was amazed to see large white gulls...hundreds of them...flying in random patterns just off shore. We do have gulls here in the Northland, but I have never seen so many of them flying over the lake at one time.
The birds I observed were probably migrating to warmer climates for the winter, but had stopped here to feed. And, feed they did! The gulls had apparently located schools of small fish swimming just below the water’s surface, and decided it was a good time for a tasty meal.
The hungry gulls would fly back and forth while searching the prime feeding area...sometimes soaring...sometimes hovering...and, sometimes swooping down for a closer look. Then, they would often splash down onto the water to quickly seize a wiggling morsel in their beak. Their seemingly unorthodox approach to feeding was random, relentless, and frenzied...but was highly productive. The lake surface had become a huge banquet table containing an abundant feast for the bird's pleasure.
The scene that morning, although very small by comparison, reminded me of two great feast events prophesied in Scripture that will include birds as the invited guests.
The first feast is described in Ezekiel 39:17-20, and will follow the Gog and Magog war. That war will take place when nations surrounding Israel attack that tiny country with a determined effort to destroy her and the Jewish people. When all seems lost, the Lord God of Israel will supernaturally intervene to protect His land and His chosen people. The carnage will be so massive among Israel’s attackers that God will summon the birds of the air and the beasts of the field to the mountains of Israel where they will consume the flesh and blood from the unburied corpses of Israel’s fallen enemy.
The second prophesied feast for birds is recorded in Revelation 19:17-18, and will follow the total destruction of the world’s armies gathered at Armageddon. The armies will be there to prevent the return and kingdom of Christ. However, He will return exactly as promised. He will immediately capture the beast, and will defeat and kill the armies using only the sword of the spoken Word of God. So great will be the slaughter that an angel will call the fowls of the sky to assemble to eat the flesh of the dead. Scripture refers to that feast event as “the great supper of God.”
On a much lighter and joyous note...another feast will take place that will be the greatest feast event of all time, and birds of prey will not be invited. According to Revelation 19:9, Scripture has named that feast “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The marriage ceremony for the Bridegroom and His one Bride, the raptured church, will have already been performed in heaven. The marriage supper will take place on earth after Christ returns from heaven to begin His millennial reign...and He will bring His Bride with Him.
The marriage supper of the Lamb will truly be a celebration of the ages for all who have placed their faith and trust in Him, and it will be hosted by the Bridegroom, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The cuisine for that special “Groom’s dinner” will be...well, simply heavenly. The Bride of Christ, which includes all born-again believers from Pentecost to the rapture will be there. The believing Jewish remnant will certainly be there, too. The resurrected Old Testament saints who believed by faith alone in a coming Messiah will be there. The tribulation saints who were martyred for their faith will be resurrected and present as well. Also, the survivors of the tribulation who became believers during that time will no doubt join the celebration.
What a tremendous, complete gathering of His followers that will be! As a redeemed, blood-bought child of God, I am also part of the Bride of Christ...and am humbled to tears knowing that I will be there for that supper, too. Oh, my! I want to sit at the banquet table beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob...and the Old Testament prophets...and Jesus’ disciples...and David...and Paul...and Elijah...and the list goes on and on.
But, most of all I want to be there with Jesus...the One who died for me in my place that I might have life. Jesus...my Savior, Lord and Master...the One to whom I owe my heart and soul!
However, no one will be permitted to attend that grand dinner celebration, nor, will they enter through heaven's gate without an advance reservation. The cost of the reservation was paid in full by Jesus' shed blood and death on the cross...where He suffered and died in our place to purchase our redemption. He took all the sin of the world upon Himself, including yours and mine, and paid sin's price for us.
The reservation is a free gift offered to all who would humbly reach out to receive it. We receive that gift by placing our complete faith and trust in Him alone...by asking forgiveness and repenting of our sin-filled life...and by inviting Him to be our life. Finally, we must boldly declare before others that Jesus is Lord of all.
Jesus alone holds the reservation for you and me, but we must deliberately reach out to Him by faith to receive it. I have my reservation for the marriage supper of the Lamb.