If you have ever attended a sporting event and watched as an unsuspecting seat holder in the “cheap seats” was awarded the VIP seats, it is quite amazing! Their surprise and excitement are contagious, and you most likely found yourself smiling along with them. They entered the stadium as spectators … and left as honored guests.
Although life is obviously much different than a sporting event, we see something similar happen in Psalm 23. At the beginning Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We see ourselves as sheep … helpless, unprotected, and lost. Then we read verse 5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies …” In one verse, our position has changed from sheep to honored guest. What a surprising and unlikely difference! The Lord is our Generous Host that not only accepts us at His table, but He also keeps us safe and provides for us, even among our enemies. We literally have nothing to fear … if we choose to dine with Him.
The protection we were afforded as sheep did not go away when we became a guest at the table. In fact, as a guest, we realize that we can even dine in the presence of enemies and be safe. We do not need to hide or live in fear; we can boldly go through our days knowing our Shepherd, our Host, will be guarding us. Psalm 91 2-3 reminds us of this truth, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”
Provision is also provided at the table. Just as any good host does, our Generous Host prepares the table with enough to sustain us … no matter what comes our way in life. His provision is more than food to nourish, but it is also filled with grace, mercy, and love. There is more than enough for you and more than enough for everyone else. There is no need for competition or hoarding. Our Host has an endless supply and He finds joy in providing all that we need. John 14:1-3 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
From wandering and grazing in a pasture to being accepted and provided for at the King’s table, we see that perhaps the more time we spend with our Shepherd, our relationship with Him deepens. After all, being an honored guest means all your needs are met; you are accepted just as you are and protected even in the presence of the enemy!
THIS WEEK: Spend time with your Shepherd this week as an honored guest because that is who you are! Approach Him with trust, knowing His provision is your provision and His presence will cover you with grace. As an honored guest, you have the privilege of sharing His generosity with others and inviting others to the table.