Summary: PART OF A SERIES ON THE 23RD PSALM
THE TABLE PREPARED FOR ME
I’M HOPING THAT ONE OF THE THINGS YOU ARE SEEING IN THIS STUDY IS JUST HOW SMART DAVID WAS TO USE THE SHEPHERD AND SHEEP COMPARISON. EACH OF THESE VERSE SHOW A DIFFERENT WAY THAT WE ARE LIKE THE SHEEP AND THAT GOD IS LIKE OUR SHEPHERD. VERSE 5 IS NO DIFFERENT.
THIS VERSE HAS THREE SPEARATE CLAUSES IN IT, EACH IMPORTANT IN IT’S OWN WAY.
HE PREPARES A TABLE FOR US
IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES
HE ANOINTS OUR HEADS WITH OIL
AND SURPRISINGLY HE GIVES US THE RESULTS OF ALL THIS, WHEN HE SAYS “MY CUP OVERFLOWS.”
WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TONIGHT IS LOOK AT EACH OF THESE SEGMENTS AND SEE HOW THEY APPLY TO OUR LIVES.
POINT ONE: HE PREPARES A TABLE FOR US
WHEN WE STUDY A PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE, WE CAN DO IT ONE OF TWO WAYS. THE PRIMARY METHOD I BELIEVE WE SHOULD USE IS EXPOSITORY, WHERE WE STUDY THE WORD DIRECTLY AND HAVE THE PASSAGE DEAL WITH THE POINTS WE WISH TO MAKE. THE SECOND FORM OF PREACHING IS WHAT WE CALL TOPICAL. TOPICAL PREACHING BEGINS WITH AN ISSUE THAT THE SPEAKER WANTS TO PREACH ON, AND SHOWS HOW THAT PASSAGE AGREES WITH THE TOPIC.
THIS PHRASE IN PSALM 23 IS OFTEN USED FOR BOTH TYPES OF PREACHING. IF WE CHOOSE TO LOOK AT IT TOPICALLY, IT WILL SHOW US GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER OUR ENEMIES IN THIS WORLD. IN LOOKING AT THE PASSAGE THIS WAY WE SEE A LITERAL TABLE BEING PREPARED AND ASK THE QUESTION WHY.
WHEN WE VIEW THE TABLE IN THIS WAY WE CAN SEE IT AS A TABLE OF VICTORY. IT WAS A PRACTICE DURING THESE TIMES IF A KING WAS VICTORIOUS OVER ANOTHER THAT THERE WOULD BE A GREAT CELEBRATION. THE VANQUISHED ARMY WOULD BE MARCHED IN FRONT OF THE CONQUEROR. NO DOUBT THIS CELEBRATION WOULD INCLUDE A FEAST FOR THE CONQUERING KING, WITH A VERY LAVISH TABLE PREPARED FOR THE CELEBRATION.
WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY DESCRIBES “VICTORY’ AS “SUPREMACY AND SUCCESS OVER STRUGGLE”. THE TABLE THAT GOD IS PREPARING IS THE TABLE OF VICTORY, OUR VICTORY OVER SIN AND THE STRUGGLES WITH SIN. AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE DESTINED TO BE OVERCOMERS.
JOHN 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
ROMANS 12:21: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
REVELATION 17:14: They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
THE PREPARED TABLE IS A TABLE OF REFRESHMENT. THERE IS A SPECIAL ANTICIPATION ABOUT SITTING DOWN TO A SPECIAL MEAL. JUST RECENTLY WE CELEBRATED THANKSGIVING. WE HAD A THANKSGIVING DINNER IN FREDERICTON THAT WAS REALLY ENJOYABLE, AND THE FOOD WAS GREAT.
LES AND I CAME BACK ON SUNDAY NIGHT SO THAT WE COULD HAVE THANKSGIVING DINNER TOGETHER AS WELL. WE HAD IT ALL PLANNED OUT BEFORE WE LEFT WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO, BECAUSE WHEN WE WENT TO FREDERICTON WE DID NOT EXPECT THEM TO HAVE A THANKSGIVING DINNER.
WE STARTED OUT BY MAKING PUMPKIN PIES AND HAD THE HOUSE FULL OF THE AROMA OF DRESSING THAT WAS JUST RIGHT. IN THE MORNING THE TURKEY WENT INTO THE OVEN, WITH THE PROMISE THAT AS HE HAD GIVEN HIS ALL FOR US, THAT WE WOULD ENJOY IT WITH ALL WE HAD. THEN WE WENT FOR A NICE DRIVE TO SEE THE LAST OF GOD’S SCENERY FOR THE YEAR. WHEN WE RETURNED HOME WE PREPARED THE VEGETABLES. IN ABOUT HALF AN HOUR WE WERE SITTING IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH CANDLELIGHT AND A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING DINNER, AND THE PERSON I’M MOST THANKFUL FOR, MY WIFE, SITTING RIGHT ACROSS FROM ME. I LOOKED FORWARD TO THAT FOR WEEKS AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.
THIS TABLE IS A TABLE SET FOR ROYALTY. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE SHARE WITH DAVID. YES DAVID WAS ROYALTY AS KING OF ISRAEL, BUT HE WAS ALSO ROYALTY AS HE WAS THE PROPERTY OF THE KING OF KINGS AND HELD A KINGLY INHERITANCE, AS DO YOU AND I. NOW THE INCREDIBLE THING ABOUT THIS IS THAT THIS TABLE IS NOT PREPARED BY US FOR THE KING, BUT THE KING OF KINGS IS PREPARING THIS TABLE FOR US. AS ONE PERSON SAID “GOD HAS PUT AN APRON ON FOR YOU.”
EPHESIANS 2:6-7: And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.