Text: Psalm 23:5
“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.”
David in Psalm 23 wrote about the Lord as our Shepherd. One of the roles of our Shepherd which Psalm 23 highlights is that our Shepherd prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
The first thing David points out to us about this table is that preparation has gone into it. When we talk about preparation it means:
- Something that is not done causally or haphazardly. The table of the Lord is not something that is set casually or haphazardly; it is not something that is done without any plan in mind. God takes time to plan what will be on the table, where the table will be, who will eat on the table, who will see the table. The word preparation implies that thought, time and effort has gone into doing that thing or getting that thing ready. Whenever God wants to lay or set a table, He puts a lot of thought, time and effort into it. In Exodus 25:23-30, when a tabernacle was being built for the Lord, we see the time and effort that went into getting ready a table they would use to lay the bread to be placed in the holy place. If God takes time to prepare a table for us, we shouldn’t approach the table of the Lord in a casual, haphazard manner seeing it as just one of those things the church adds to its calendar or order of service to increase the number of activities of the church for the day or month. The preparation calls for appreciation. Let’s bring this point home with this example. Imagine you invite a family to your place for dinner. You do everything to ensure they have a wonderful time at your place. You go shopping to get what they will eat, buy some new table cloth, flower vase, flowers and other accessions to get your dining table ready. You go through all the works to have a nice and memorable evening, but after all your efforts, your invited guests call 5 minutes to the time you expect them to arrive saying that they are sorry but they have another engagement and so can’t make it to your place. How would you feel? You certainly would feel bad for the time, money and effort that went into this dinner yet it couldn’t take place. Now think of a dinner you have been invited to, a dinner that has been prepared for you that you can’t put a price tag to how much has been spent to get the table ready. The table of the Lord is symbolic of the blood and body of our Lord Jesus Christ something you can’t value, something you can’t put a price tag to (Psalm 49:7-8, Mark 10:45). God has taken time to prepare not just any meal, not the regular meals we have, but an invaluable meal. You can’t put a price to what Jesus did to redeem us and free us from sin, the devil, the curse of the law and the clutches of hell. So it isn’t right for us to treat lightly or with disrespect the effort that has gone into preparing this table. THE PREPARATION CALLS FOR APPRECIATION. We should appreciate God for taking time to prepare a meal for us that none of us, not even the richest or wealthiest of men can afford. All our life savings, all the money in our account can’t pay for this meal. No bank can give us a loan to pay for this meal.
- Preparation ensures that all details are taken into account and nothing is forgotten – The reason why people take time to plan and prepare for programs and events is so that during the period of planning and preparation, all the nitty-gritty details are taken care of. When you don’t take time to prepare, there’s a tendency that you can forget or overlook some things. But have you realised that even with the best and most professional event planner, caterer, planning chart or software, something can be overlooked or forgotten. I’m sure you have witnessed weddings where they forgot the ring or wedding veil. When you and I or a caterer or event planner prepares a table, we may forget to put certain things on the table. But when God prepares a table, nothing is forgotten, nothing is left out, everything you need is on that table. When God prepares a table, you can be assured that He has taken note of all the details of your life even down the minutest detail and He has put everything you need on the table, nothing has been forgotten. God is not like a caterer that can forget to bring the cutlery or table cloth to an event, or bring the rice and forget the stew or sauce. So God’s invitation to come to the table He has prepared for you is God telling you that I have not forgotten you. Do you feel like God has forgotten you? He wants to use this meal to remind and assure you that He hasn’t forgotten you. He has not forgotten that need of yours. Isaiah 49:14-16 tells us God can’t forget us because we are inscribed on the palms of His hand. The only way God can forget us is if His hands are cut off and we know that can never happen. God didn’t forget Noah in the ark when there was a terrible flood around him (Genesis 8:1). There may be a terrible flood around you. It may look like the flood is going to drown your marriage, business, career, ministry or spiritual life, but I tell you that in spite of the flood, God has not forgotten. God didn’t forget Noah, God won’t forget you. God didn’t forget Hannah when her rival was mocking her, when she was asking her where is the evidence of the God you always pray to (1 Samuel 1: 5-8)? Your close family members and friends may be mocking you today, people may not see anything in your life to show for all the time you spend in church, praying or attending church services. In spite of the negative labels people have given you, in spite of how people look down on you, God has not forgotten you. God didn’t forget Hannah, God won’t forget you. God didn’t forget Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they threw them into a fiery furnace (Daniel 3), God didn’t forget Daniel when they threw him into the den of lions (Daniel 6), God will not forget you. God didn’t forget the Israelites in the wilderness when they had no water to drink and no food to eat. You may not have money to do the things you want, you may be wondering where am I going to get money for the next meal, the next house rent, the next school fees, or where will I get money to pay my staff. In spite of the lack you presently see, God has not forgotten you. God did not forget Jesus when he was nailed to the cross and cried MY God, My God, why have you forsaken me (Matthew 27:46). God didn’t forget Jesus on the cross, God didn’t forget Jesus in the grave, God won’t forget you. After the cross and the grave came the GLORY. God has not forgotten you. You may be going through your own cross and grave situation right now, but after it all, there will be glory. GLORY is coming your way. THE LORD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU.
WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM COMING TO THE TABLE THE LORD HAS PREPARED?
We have established that God has put a lot of effort into preparing a table for us, we have also established that the table is God’s way of reminding and assuring us that He has not forgotten us. Now we want to look at what will happen when we come to this table God has prepared for us.
Job 36:16 and Isaiah 25:6 can help us answer this question. Job 36:16 says
- God is wooing you from the jaws of distress… The table God has prepared for us is a way of God showing us His love like a man expresses his love for a woman he wants to propose to by taking her to a nice dinner table. With the table of the Lord, God is showing us how much He loves us by preparing a table that will deliver us from distress, trial and affliction. Trials and afflictions have jaws. They can swallow a person, they can crush a person. But when you come to the table of the Lord, you receive strength to face and overcome any distress. You receive power through the blood and body of Jesus into your inner man and no problem, trial or affliction will swallow or crush you. God loves us too much to allow that trial swallow or crush us that is why He has prepared this table for us. I prophesy into your life that as you come to the table of the Lord today, you will not be swallowed or crushed by any trial, problem or challenge of life no matter how big and great the spiritual, health, marital or financial problem may be. ON THE TABLE OF THE LORD YOU RECEIVE STRENGTH TO OVERCOME TRIALS AND AFFLICTIONS.
- He is bringing you to a spacious place free from restrictions…when you come to the table of the Lord, you are set free from anything restricting or limiting you. Is there a sickness that has been restricting and limiting you like the man at the beautiful gate in Acts 3:1-9? Because this man was crippled from birth for years, he wasn’t able to go to certain places. He used to stay at the temple gate but had never entered into the temple to praise and worship God until that restriction was removed. Today as you come to the table of the Lord, every health restriction will be removed in Jesus name. Is there a heavy weight, load or yoke the enemy has placed on you to prevent you from running the race set before you (Hebrews 12:1)? When there’s a weight placed on you, it becomes difficult to move very fast. The yoke can make you crawl or walk through life when you should be running. The yoke can slow down your progress. Today as you come to the table of the Lord, everything that has been slowing down your progress, making you crawl instead of run will be removed in Jesus mighty name. AMEN! Are there some evil walls or lines the enemy has been using to restrict or limit your progress in life? A wall, line or boundary can confine you to a particular place or point. They confine your life and destiny to a particular point, dictating that you don’t go beyond this point. The enemy can use an evil wall, line or boundary to place a financial restriction on a person that you will never make or earn a certain amount of money despite all your efforts and hard work. An educational restriction can also be placed on a person to keep the person from having certain educational qualifications and certificates. A restriction could be set in place to prevent a person from getting married or having a child.
We understand from Zechariah 2:1-5 that the only wall that should surrounds us is God’s wall of protection. And so today, every evil wall around our lives that has been limiting us will be brought down in Jesus mighty name. AMEN! Psalm 16:6 tells is that the boundary lines God has drawn for us fall in pleasant places. Every boundary line that is not pleasant that limits or restricts good and pleasant things from coming to us will be removed today by the power of God. ON THE TABLE OF THE LORD EVIL RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS ARE REMOVED. Look into your life. Does there appear to be any restriction? As you come to the table of the Lord with faith in your heart, all man-made and satanic restrictions and limitations will be removed.
- There is a rich variety of blessings on that table…When God prepares a table for you it is a rich feast as Isaiah 25:6 tells us. It is a table loaded with assorted blessings. There’s healing on the table, deliverance, strength, restoration, promotion, victory, grace, power and anointing. You gain so much by coming to this table. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to come to the table of the Lord.
WHY DOES GOD PREPARE THE TABLE IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES?
We see from Psalm 23:5 that it is a deliberate an intentional act on the part of God to see that the table He has prepared for you is set right in the presence of your enemies. Why? Because everything your enemy hopes you will never be, everything your enemy hopes you will never get in life is right there on that table. The healing, deliverance, victory, promotion, anointing and power your enemies don’t want you to ever have is on this table. It is also for your enemies to know that they can’t stop the plan of God for your life. God preparing the table in the presence of our enemies shows that no enemy can stop God; no enemy can stop God’s purpose for your life. When a caterer or rental company is setting up tables for an event, people can say I don’t want the high table on the podium place it down here. Someone can stop the caterer or rental company from placing a table at a particular place or location. But when God is the one setting a table, who can instruct God on where the table is to be or on how the table is to be set? Who can stop God from setting the table? Isaiah 14:26-27 tells us no one can stop what God has purposed to do. No person, force, devil or demon can prevent God from doing what He wants to do in your life. The table of the Lord is for the unstoppable. As you come to the table of the Lord, everything the enemy has tried to stop or prevent from happening in your life will begin to take place after this meal.
HOW SHOULD I APPROACH THE TABLE OF THE LORD?
We should approach this table God has prepared for us free from sin, with no un-confessed sin in our lives. When God prepares a table it is a very clean table. God instructed the Israelites to set the bread on a clean table (2 Chronicles 13:11). You see some tables prepared by men and how they look. There may be a stain on the table cloth somewhere, one cutlery or glass may be dirty, but when God prepares a table, there is nothing dirty or filthy on the table. Everything is clean and pure because it is a Holy table set with a Holy meal. And so today if you want to come to the table of the Lord, a table where all manner of blessings have been laid for you, a table that will free you from all satanic restrictions and limitations, a table that will make your life and destiny unstoppable, begin to ask God to remove every sin, every filthy garment from your life so you can come to the table of the Lord and feast from the abundance in God’s house and drink from His river of delight (Psalm 36:8).
Photo Credit: creationswap