You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies Psalm 23:5
In the presence of – If you are going to enjoy the feast God is arranging, you will have to give up your microwave mentality. God is a gourmet chef. He takes His time. And when everything is ready, He presents the meal. Every great chef knows that the food is only part of a successful meal. The other part is the presentation. That’s the difference between McDonald’s Big Mac in a cardboard box and Spago’s almond-crusted salmon on a fine china plate with swirls of vodka cream sauce in an artistic display. When God prepares His invitation-only banquet, He delivers it with the finest presentation in the universe.
David uses the Hebrew word neged. This is not just any preposition. This word means ”to place conspicuously or set high on display.” The table before me can be seen by everyone. God’s banquet is not hidden from my enemies. It is deliberately presented so that they cannot miss the sight. It is a testimony to the glory of the chef, held right in front of them.
Is God egotistical? Does He flaunt His talent? Of course not! God conspicuously presents His meal because I need to learn a great kitchen lesson. My invitation-only banquet with the Father is entirely His affair. He determines the time, the place, the decoration, the arrangements and the food. No enemy has any effect on this occasion. And neither do I. I am invited to enjoy it, not to make it. This is God’s craftsmanship on display.
We have forgotten the gourmet God. In a culture of speed demons, we want God’s instant oatmeal provisions. The problem we face is not the lack of God’s provision but rather our lack of patience with the preparation. We get up and go back to the battle before the meal is served because we think that the goal of life is to win the war. Not so. God is quite capable of handling all the enemies without me. The goal of life is to experience the banquet in unhurried fellowship. It has always been about feasting with God, not about fighting His foes. The first order of business given to Man was to eat (see Genesis 2:16 – literally, “in feasting you may feast”). God is the Great Shepherd King. He protects (the enemies are powerless) and provides (the meal is prepared).
A microwave life is a life of stupidity and insult. Did you think you could leave the table at the end of the first course, just because you heard the enemy’s taunt? Who made you the knight in shining armor? Relax and enjoy God forever. Unplug the microwave. The real meal is on display. Where are you going in such a hurry?