A devotional for this week by Martha Whitney, Immanuel member:
The 23rd Psalm says that God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies. I have wondered who those people might be. I think of faceless enemies, arrayed around the wall, not at the table. The psalmist did not say I would share the table with them, necessarily, but that they would see that I have a source of health and well-being, protection and love. I do not think I have specific enemies in the sense of someone[s] wanting to harm me. When I do try to put faces on those figures, instead of human foes I see selfishness, reluctance to take on new tasks, too great a desire to not offend, to be liked: ego. I do not have to invite them to eat with me, but I can turn to the Source that will help me to deal with them, to see them for what they are and, with God’s table before me, all the blessings I need to live a full life, maybe I can begin to overcome those enemies.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
Featured photo by highlights6. License available here.