You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
God is an incredible host. He throws parties with the things we love: great food, great people, warmth, and laughter. God’s parties are lavish, extraordinary.
Traveling through the desert, God’s people pictured a promised wonderland “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 13:5). And Joel 2:24 says, “The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.” It’s no surprise, then, that Jesus describes the kingdom of God as a joyful banquet (Luke 14:15). And in Revelation 19:9 John describes life with God in heaven as “the wedding supper of the Lamb.”
The main image of Psalm 23 describes the Lord as our shepherd. But the picture of God as our ultimate host also reveals to us the Lord’s generous care. The psalmist has been rescued from trouble, even in the presence of enemies. Though enemies may surround him, God’s grace has rescued him. God has preserved and cared for this loved one, inviting him to enjoy the goodness of God’s blessings even in the midst of disturbing troubles.
No one is worthy to dine at God’s eternal banquet. Our shepherd–host knows that on our own we cannot qualify to attend. Yet God never says, “I have given you a second chance; now do it right this time.” No, Jesus does everything necessary to ensure that we remain on the guest list and we can live with him forever.
Lord, you prepare a table before me. You anoint my head with oil. Your goodness and love follow me. I am blessed to be welcomed to live with you forever. In Jesus, Amen
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