In the Presence of My Enemies

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5).

When I picture the 23rd psalm I picture an Eden-esque scene:

  • green pastures on a bright and sunny day
  • a stream of calming, cool waters

It’s so calm. So pleasant.

That’s nice. But that’s not life.

We certainly have our moments where life is Eden-esque. But there are also plenty of moments when life feels like hell. Life can be really hard. Thank goodness that most of life is experienced somewhere in between.

As you look at the structure of the 23rd psalm, it starts out with a faith declaration: The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

And then there are three settings and descriptions of when life is good and pleasant:

  • He makes me lie down in green pastures
  • He leads me beside still waters
  • He guides me along the right paths

Then, there are three settings and descriptions of when life is hard:

  • Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
  • I will fear no evil
  • You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

From highest of the highs in life to the lowest of the lows, the LORD is our shepherd. We shall not be in want.

There is never a “there” where the LORD is not there. There is never a “there” where the LORD is not our Shepherd.

I am grateful that God is present in good times. But when I need God the most is when life is hard and I am surrounded by the enemies of faith.

Even there, the LORD is there to prepare a table for you and me in the very midst of the presence of our enemies. There is nothing the enemy can do to take us away from the presence of God. He is, after all, our LORD and Shepherd.

Thanks be to God!

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