You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 ESV
We all love the parts of the twenty-third Psalm when God makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters. But how do we feel about following Him on the path of righteousness; that lead into the Valley of the Shadow of Death? When the road grows dark, and we hear the howling of wolvers it is tempting to give in to fear, but God’s word gives us three things to give us courage. First, our Shepherd who let us rest in the green pastures and walked us down to the gentle stream is still around when danger comes. He leads us into the valley because we need more than just green pastures and fresh clean water. He knows that only when our faith is tested will it begin to grow. Secondly, in the darkness of the valley, our Good Shepherd teaches us to follow Him, one step at a time. We learn that wherever He has walked, we can safely follow. Whenever He stops to rest, we must also and when He says to pitch our tents, we can trust that His rod and staff will protect us through the night. Finally, and best of all, when we wake in the morning, He leads us to a banqueting table that is waiting for us! There in the middle of the dark valley, He brings us to the same table He sat at on the night when Judas betrayed Him. There He takes the bread and blesses it saying, “This is my body which is given for you.” and then He takes the cup that overflows and tells us, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Then He says to remember every time we receive, that He passed through the Valley first and prepared a table for us there. At that table, no enemy, no problem, or suffering will matter, because there in our darkest valley we will find ourselves at a table sitting right next to the King!