When is the last time you were in a food court in one of our sprawling modern malls – a variety of fast-food vendors ready to serve you the latest cholesterol-laden “heart attack on a plate?” Ha! For a health-conscious person, it is like being in the middle of the ocean with water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
In Psalm 23:5, it says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Now in a Psalm about shepherds and sheep, it seems strange to talk about a table. After all, I have yet to see a sheep eat at a table!
Well, the Hebrew word for “table” actually means “that which is spread out,” and by implication – “a meal.”
It’s like when we look at a Thanksgiving table and say, “My, that’s quite a spread!” Here the sheep are approaching the high mountain country of the summer ranges. These are known as alplands or tablelands, so much sought-after by sheep men.
Phillip Keller, in his book, “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm” says, “In some of the finest sheep country of the world, especially in the western United States and southern Europe, the high plateaus of the sheep ranges are always referred to as ‘mesas’ – the Spanish word for ‘tables.’” Well, what David was evidently referring to as a “table” was actually the summer range plateau. Though these “mesas” are remote and hard to reach, the energetic and thoughtful sheep owner takes the time and trouble to lead his flock there because of the abundance of good grazing for the sheep.
Now the Lord loves to do that for us, too. Sometimes He takes us through hard experiences to teach us wonderful lessons of His provision and care. It’s all part the table He prepares for us.
Hey. Don’t be satisfied with spiritual fast-food. The Lord wants to give you a real, satisfying meal.