Thank you for joining me each week as we continue our journey through Psalms 23. It is one of the most well-known Scriptures. Many quote it or recite it by wrote, but have we taken the time to dive into the depth and richness found in these six short verses? Do we know what it means to live and be a Psalm 23 people?
If you have missed previous posts on Psalm 23, you can find them here:
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:5a NIV).
As the phone rang, I glanced at the number on the caller ID. I groaned loudly and thought to myself, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”
I thought about not answering it, and letting it go straight to voice mail, but quickly decided against it instead. I figured, I might as well “get it” over with, whatever “it” was going to be. Truthfully, after the hurtful accusations and hostile interaction we had the week before I was surprised to be getting a call.
Logically I know “people” aren’t the enemy, but in this situation, it sure felt like it, especially emotionally. It felt like there was a line drawn in the sand and no matter what was said or done prior to the confrontation the week before all niceties were set aside and war had been declared! We went from friends, ministry partners, and colleagues to all out enemies in the matter of a 24-hour period.
What started as a hard, tearful yet agreeable conversation and acknowledgement that God was moving me on to something else. There was a sadness but also agreement that I was walking in obedience. Less than 24-hours later it turned into war zone with word bombs being hurled in my direction. Hurtful accusations were flying past my head at lightning speed. Many were untrue but stung none-the-less. I felt like I went from being a friend to a mortal enemy.
Have you ever been there?
It is not a fun place to be. No matter which side of the equation you find yourself on.
The phone call was a reminder that we had a pre-planned ministry dinner with others and my attendance was required, “No Matter What!”
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:5a NLT).
I was dreading it and it felt like I would be eating with the enemy. I would like to say that the dinner meeting went well. However, it did not. My ministry colleague apparently was never taught manners and that you don’t air your dirty laundry in front of others. During the course of sharing a meal with another couple and my husband we made forward looking plans for the ministry I would soon be leaving. It was a great, successful planning and brain storming session. In fact, so much so that I started to breathe a little easier and let my guard down. I thought that maybe we would be able to move forward past the previously meeting we had which was electrically charged with anger and hurt. That was, until the business at hand was finished and I began being fired upon with short range missiles and ammunition fire in the form of words.
Later during my quiet time, I was lamenting over the situation. I said to the Lord, “Thanks so much for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies – NOT.”
The idea that having a table of food prepared for us to eat in the presence of our enemies is nice, but in reality, when in war – sitting down to eat a prepared meal is the farthest from our minds. When in war, you are on guard. You keep a watchful eye out for the enemy. You may not see him, but you know he’s there. When you eat, you eat in haste, not leisure. When enemies are present you keep your guard up, watchful eyes open, and ears tuned in to every sound. While the above story happened many years ago, and I have walked through forgiveness and healing it is a good reminder of what Psalm 23 is all about.
If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t want to eat anything, let alone a feast with enemies around. We want to eat without a care or concern.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; (Psalm 23:5a NASB)
To get a clear picture of what the Psalmist is really saying we need to dive into the wording choices.
The originally Hebrew word for “prepare” is “arak” and it means to: set in order; arrange; set in a row; ordain; or lay out.
The word for table in the original text is “shulhan” and it literally means a table or kings table for private or sacred use; to set a spread, or lay out a feast.
The phrase “in the presence of” means: in front of; before me; in the sight of.
But who exactly is our enemy and adversary? The people who hurt us? Accuse us? Abuse us? Satan?
Enemy in this connect means: “adversary, be in affliction, besiege, bind up, be in distress, enemy, oppress, pangs, to be in straight trouble”
One commentator said, the word “enemy” doesn’t just mean a singular force like Satan is against us. Rather it’s a simpler application. It’s distress, pangs of trouble, oppression affliction, etc.
As I researched this particular verse, there are two schools of thought from the commentators. One is that verse 5-6 is a continuation of the “shepherd/sheep” metaphor from verses 1-4. The other is that a switch takes place here with verses 5-6 and it no longer is talking in “shepherd/sheep metaphor, but as an allegory (metaphor) of God’s relationship with His people.
I can see it as both. A shepherd’s job is to lead the sheep to a source of food. While they eat, the shepherds job tis o watch over and protect the sheep knowing that predators are always nearby.
You spread out a table before me,
provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; (Psalm 23:5a The Voice)
Psalm 23:5a makes it clear:
No matter what opposition, adversary, enemy, distress, or affliction is around, God will provide for all our needs. Even in the midst of attacks and what feels like the enemy advancing or surrounding us, we can be at peace and partake of what the Lord so graciously provides for us.
You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight (Psalm 23:5a TPT).
We must take comfort that God will supply all our needs. He will provide a bountiful supply for us to feast upon in His presence and even protect us from our enemies.
After my research, I thought about how I would paraphrase Psalms 23:5a to capture ALL it means. Here is what I came up with:
God arranges, in order, and lays out a spread for me. Not just any spread but a feast fit for a King right in front of me and in sight of my adversary, and the things that cause me trouble, distress and affliction. I can partake of His feast for me. I can “taste and see” the goodness and faithfulness of God all around me, no matter the situation.
How would you write out Psalm 23:5a in your own words?
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Episode #107: What is Happening to Me?
with Guest jeannie Ortega Law
In her book, “What is Happening to Me? How to defeat Your Unseen Enemy” Jeannie shares her testimony and the redeeming power of God to help you defeat the enemy. Jeannie is a chart-topping singer and media personality allowing her to speak uniquely to the impact media can have on a person’s soul. Plus we cover a variety of other topics as well.
You can connect with her here: https://www.jeannieo.com/
You can find her book on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2MLWN9L
Listen at your favorite podcast provider, click here for options. OR watch it On Youtube by clicking here.
Check out the newest #Podcast from @Dare2Hear Episode 107: what is Happening to Me ? Click To Tweet
My NEW Symbolism Reference Guide and Dream Journal just released. You can now purchase your copy straight from Amazon
Great News for those wanting to watch/listen to the dream workshop training but were unable to attend. It is now available for purchase and instant download from my store. You can access them by clicking on the links below.
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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com
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YouVersion 7-Day Devotional
I am blessed and honored to have a 7-day devotional on the YouVersion Bible App. YAY!!! It is a great way to kick start the 7- days before my on-line Bible Study starts next week. I would be so blessed if you would check it out and share it with your friends. You can find it here: Be The Gift Someone Needs Today!
Have you had the opportunity to read my new book “The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for others.” ? This book is about learning to hear the voice of God in our own life so we can respond to those God bumps and little nudges He gives us on a daily basis. God is calling us to be agents of encouragement and to be the gift the worlds needs today.
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Words have power.
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Especially when they come from God.
The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement Bible Study: Living a Lifestyle of Encouragement shows us how to follow Jesus by loving on and building up His church … one person, and one God-centered word, at a time. Diving deeply into Scripture, Pastor Debbie Kitterman beautifully unpacks the Biblical precedent of prophetic encouragement and teaches you how to hear from God. By doing so, you’ll bravely step into your calling to #BeTheGift others need.
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Do you wonder if God still speaks today? Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally? Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?
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God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?
d2htrainging.com membership site is open, I invite you to check it out today, and develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, as you learn to hear Him speak to your heart.
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