Friday, October 25, 2013

A Table Before Me

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

This interesting statement is made in Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm.

This is God as host preparing delightful things for His flock:

A freedom from condemnation - The old mess has passed; totally made new and clean by the blood of Calvary. There is no longer the grinding weight of guilt for past stumbling. There is a ready place to go for absolution, should one fall again.

An Elder Brother who identifies - There is no temptation that Jesus did not experience during His earth walk. But he withstood all heroically and did not sin. We may be confident that He will ever be the reliable hiding place and counsel when new temptations/trials hit.

A confidence in the Lord's guidance and protection - Our past experiences in the faith tell us that there is no place of greater safety than at the Shepherd's side. There have been rescues. There have been sunny vistas. There have been bowers filled with the song of his creatures. And that wonderful settling sense of His presence even unto death.

Refreshments have come in surprising ways - Just when you think you are caught in a hard place without a way of escape, the Lord arrives, and the shadows flee, and the bracing thrill of His availability is like a long draught of cool water. His words of comfort and direction to the inner man have special blessing at such times.

We have the constant sustenance evidenced in the bread and wine - Things sanctified, broken and poured out by our Great Rescuer Jesus in order that we might not suffer judgment; things that speak to a world-wide mystical family rejoicing in all of His deliverances and compassions until He returns to take up His throne.

And the journey is perilous through a fallen world. There are influences close at hand that would seek to defile, defame or destroy. Although they report to the Prince of Darkness, they are aware of the power and presence of irrefutable Righteousness, and they see evidences of the same in members of the flock. They will be weakened in their resolve, and terrified by the prospect of mercy, recompense and judgment winning the day.

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