"The Good & Beautiful God" -Part 5 (Psalm 23:5)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Picture for a moment the good and beautiful God warmly welcoming you to a banquet. The table is stuffed with plates and bowls of delicious food. God fills your cup to the point of splling over! You glance up and notice the person you never believed would be invited over to God’s house. You are face to face with someone you would not invite to your own house. The Hebrew phrase for “in the presence of” is neged and in some cases can mean “in front of, opposite to, or a counterpart/mate. That is to say, perhaps God is blessing us and our enemies sit at the same table as us. Is anyone comfortable accepting God’s blessing when their enemy is also reaping the benefits? I am reminded of the story of the prodigal son and his brother. The brother works hard, but ultimately enjoys a beautiful share of his father’s estate. But the prodigal son wastes his share, then comes home, repents, and enjoys a lavish party thrown by his father. The responsible brother was angry and made an enemy of his prodigal brother because he believed he was more deserving of God’s blessing.

So… who is your enemy? Who is it you would never expect to share a meal with? Who do you overlook or pass by because you assume they believe and do everything you dislike? The spiritual exercise this week is simple, yet difficult. Pray for your enemies; pray with your enemies and thank God for the blessings in both of your lives; share a meal with your enemy. You may start to see them like God sees them.

Julie Lisea