Feast in Front of Foes

When it rains, it…? And it appears that when it pours, it’s a downpour. You already know that my son Jessey was hospitalized due to dengue. (Thanks for your prayers! His recovery is really a miracle.) Then, a few days later, his PSP has gone kaput. The technician lamented that it is beyond repair. Then, last Thursday, around 6PM, he got held up on his way home from school. His school bag, including my Macbook, got stolen. He brought the laptop to school for a class presentation. Three teenage suspects picked him up right in front of our house, brought him a block away then robbed him. I just praise God he was unharmed. That was really scary! Nowadays people get stabbed or shot or beaten up. I told him, “God gives us problems either to punish us or to polish us.”

The morning before the mugging, I spoke before grade and high school students, faculty and staff of a Filipino-Chinese Christian School. My verse was Psalm 23:5. “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.” (NLT) Psalm 23 is usually called the Psalm of the Shepherd. King David who wrote this psalm was a shepherd before he became king. In verse 5 David shifted from the image of a loving shepherd to the image of a gracious host. He changed perspective from the eyes of a sheep to the eyes of a visitor. I think he has in mind a Bedouin shepherd who welcomes or invites people in his tent for a meal. Note the first part of the verse: “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.” The Message version goes like this, “You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.” What does it mean? In his “Psalm 23: A Psalm That Calms the Soul,” Robert Deffinbaugh wrote, “According to the Bedouin law of hospitality, once a traveler is received into the shepherd’s tent, and especially once his host has spread food before him, he is guaranteed immunity from enemies who may be attempting to overtake him… No greater security or comfort could be obtained by a traveler in the ancient Near East than to be offered the hospitality of a home. It was understood that this was a provision of shelter and food, but even more it was a guarantee of protection from harm.(http://bible.org/) While reflecting on the robbery incident, it hit me! God has indeed allowed us to feast in front of our foes. He secured my son. That’s a blessing of life!

Brethren, enjoy the feast!

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