Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…
Today’s article is inspired by W. Phillip Keller’s book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.
Keller in his book describes his perspective on what it means for a shepherd to prepare a table for the sheep in the presence of enemies. He points out that the high meadows in the mountains where sheep are taken to graze are called “mesas” which means table. As a shepherd he would go before his sheep up to those meadows and make sure those summer grazing pastures were ready. He and his boys cleared the water holes and painstakingly removed the poisonous weeds from the pasture.
In those high summer pastures, there are wolves, and other predators that lurch in the shadows. When he brings his sheep there, he must always be on the lookout for the predator that will attempt to take one of his sheep. Because of the vigil eye of the shepherd, the wolves are kept at bay and the sheep can safely graze, even in the presence of their enemies.
Think of how God has gone before us to prepare a way for us (John 14:1-6). Jesus laid out the way, prepared the table, and we can sit and eat at God’s table today as His children, even in the presence of our enemies. God’s blessing, provision and protections are still right here with us, even while the Enemy (Satan) seeks to snatch us away. We can feast on Christ and His richest blessings, even as our enemy lurks in the shadows.
John 10:9 -I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.