You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
I love dinner parties. I really enjoy being able to relax with friends over a nice meal, and just chill and chat until late. I also enjoy being invited to dinner parties, particularly by people that I have only recently met. It feels like they are extending the hand of friendship to me, and that I have been accepted as a member of their circle. Being asked into the home of a person, and being invited to join them in a dinner party is a real privilege.
In this section of Psalm 23, the picture changes from God as a shepherd looking after his sheep to that of God as a dinner party host. He invites all those who who love him to come and feast from his table. By inviting us to his table, God is extending the hand of friendship out to him, and demonstrating that we have been accepted by him. If it’s an honour to be accepted into the home of a mere mortal, how much of a privilege is it to be invited to the table of God, the almighty creator! Particularly considering all that we have done. If you encountered someone who rejected you, ignored what you said, didn’t want to spend time with you, and had even killed the person that you held most dear, there is no way that you would ask them to dinner. But that is the position that we find ourselves in. Despite the fact that we routinely turn our back on the Lord God, he invites us to his table. Even though mankind killed his son, Jesus Christ, he still prepares us a meal.
On our own merit, there is no way that we could be acceptable to God. Yet because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been given that invitation. It is up to us whether we accept his offer to join him, or whether we simply want to ignore it.
If we accept the offer, perhaps we should think carefully about our behaviour. Do we respect God and treat him as one who is generous and who has invited us into his home? Or do we continue to dishonour him, and hope that he won’t notice?