Read His Words Before Ours!
As an extrovert, nothing sounds better after a long and difficult week than a dinner party surrounded by dear friends. I look around the table at my friends laughing and swapping stories, and I forget about the “enemies” I’m facing:
stress from work, family drama, unexpected expenses, and all of the other weights of life. God has prepared a table for me and my heart overflows. David knew all about enemies, but in a very different way than me.
He had a long list of people chasing after him, including the king and his own son! He faced many hardships in his life, but he always sought refuge in the Lord and praised Him for his success (2 Samuel 22).
Before David was a great warrior, he was a shepherd.
He knew how to take care of his sheep.
He kept them from danger, he provided food and water for them, and he made sure they found rest. It’s no surprise that when David was in danger, when he needed food and water, and when he needed rest, he called upon the Lord as his Good Shepherd.
David knew that God would provide his every need.
After learning of the king’s plot to kill him, David fled and sought out a priest. The priest provided holy bread for sustenance and the sword of Goliath for protection for David on his way (1 Samuel 21:1-9). In the face of his enemies, God provided just what David needed.
During Jesus’ ministry, He lived out David’s comparison of God to a Good Shepherd. He provided for people in all kinds of ways.
Like a shepherd, Jesus protected the disciples when they were in danger (Mark 4:35-41),
He made sure they found rest (Mark 6:31),
and He ultimately sacrificed His own life for all people.
One of my favorite examples of Jesus as a shepherd was when He fed 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Mark says,
“when He went ashore, He saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
Jesus and His disciples were in pursuit of rest, but the crowds found them anyway. Instead of brushing them off and sending them along their way, He had compassion on them.
He saw their need.
He saw that they were looking for someone to care for them.
First, He fed their souls with his teaching.
Then he met their physical need with fishes and loaves.
Jesus prepared a table for the people that day.
Like David’s cup that overflowed, baskets were literally overflowing with extra food!
What I love about Psalm 23:5, and each of these stories, is how they demonstrate that God not only prepares a table for us, but He does it in the presence of our enemies.
David’s psalm doesn’t say that we won’t have enemies.
He doesn’t say that God will make our enemies disappear.
And he doesn’t say that facing our enemies won’t be hard.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Even when life is hard, even when things are confusing,
even when it feels like nothing is going right,
God is not just a shepherd, but a Good Shepherd.
Do you trust that He is truly good and will provide, even in the presence of difficulty?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!