by Melody Merritt

table picture

The kitchen table is an important piece of furniture in any home. It is where we feed our appetites and our relationships.

I have many memories revolving around the kitchen table in my home. This particular table was in my parents’ home for about 15 years before it was passed on to me as a newlywed. I have memories of many gatherings around the table growing up. We ate our daily meals there, celebrated birthdays, and my favorite, enjoyed Sunday night fellowships. My parents had other families over after church on Sunday nights for food and fellowship. I had great plans for this table in my home to make many memories for my own family.

As my family grew to include two daughters, we ate our meals at the table every day. We homeschooled from the tabletop, had family nights with games and fun, and enjoyed the company of friends.

When our family changed with divorce and single parenting, the table was still there. My daughters and I had a new frame for our family, but the table was still there. We made new memories around the table sharing meals and family time.

Our table has also become my place to have my quiet time with the Lord and do my Bible Study. I have spent many hours sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and my Bible open before me.

Our lives are influenced by what happens at our tables. Who is sitting at your table?

There is a story in the Bible in 1 Kings 18 that shows how those who sat at the queen’s table negatively influenced the people of Israel. Elijah, one of the great prophets of God, lived during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in the kingdom of Israel. Jezebel is remembered as the most wicked woman in the Bible. She fed the false prophets of Baal and Asherah at her table every day. These prophets influenced the people of Israel to turn away from the one true God.

Elijah challenged King Ahab and the people of Israel to decide who they would follow, the one true God or Baal.

1 Kings 18:19-21 says, “Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.” 

Elijah challenged the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal who ate at the queen’s table every day to a contest. Elijah and the prophets of Baal would each prepare an altar with a bull and the god who answered by sending fire upon the altar was the one true God. The prophets of Baal prepared their altar with a bull and begged all day, but Baal did not respond, because he was not real.

Elijah then called the people to gather around, and he restored the altar of the Lord, put wood on the altar, and cut a bull in pieces laying it on the wood. Then he poured jars of water over the altar until the altar was drenched. Elijah prayed to the Lord and asked Him to show the people that He was God.

The Bible says, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” 

Elijah seized all the prophets of Baal and slaughtered them that day. Not one of them escaped. The people of Israel turned from Baal to God.

The false prophets were not sitting at the table anymore. Just as God’s people were influenced by the false prophets sitting at the queen’s table, so are we influenced by who, or what, we allow at our own physical and spiritual tables.

So let me ask, Who is sitting at your table? What voice are you listening to? 

As a believer in Jesus Christ we have a new nature living in us. Ephesians 4:22-24 says “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” 

But, sitting at my table is my old nature, along with my new nature.

Whichever nature I am feeding is the one that is stronger. 

Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one with her own hands tears it down.”

Be a wise woman, mom, and check who is sitting at your table. Is the internet, your iPhone, or TV controlling your table time? Don’t feed the old nature. Watch the words that are spoken at your table. They say a lot about “who” is being fed and “who” is gaining the most influence. Speak words that build up and don’t tear down.

Ask yourself these questions: Who is sitting at my table? Who will I follow today? Am I feeding my old nature or my new nature? What appetites am I feeding? How am I positively or negatively influencing the next generation?

Melody Merritt

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