Psalm 23:5 "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies."
A religious publication many years ago printed a Syrian Christian's interpretation of the Twenty-third Psalm. Being a shepherd himself, this Syrian pointed out that much of the significance of the psalm is lost unless one knows the problems of the shepherd in Bible lands.
One of his stimulating verse-by-verse explanations ran as follows:
Preparing a table does not mean setting a dinner table indoors, but refers to the shepherd's chief concern, that of finding a proper feeding place for his flock. He must be on the constant lookout for poisonous grasses, for his sheep do not always know the difference between healthy and death-bringing plants. His ever -watchful eye must detect wily snakes lying in ambush and drive them off. All this requires unceasing vigilance.
After finding an adequate patch of healthy grass free from snakes, the shepherd must render it safe "in the presence of enemies." Around the feeding ground, in holes and caverns on the hillside, there are jackals, wolves, and hyenas bent upon destroying the sheep. So the shepherd builds an enclosure of rocks and, if the wild beasts nevertheless attempt to enter the enclosure, slays them with his long-bladed knife.
Does not this one verse alone of Psalm 23 indicate what infinite care God takes to protect His children night and day?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, continue to be my shepherd; keep me in Your infinite care; then I shall not be in want. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800 325-3040.)
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"