You Prepare a Table Before Me

Cud-chewing.

Sheep are big fans. They eat, regurgitate, re-chew, and then re-swallow their food… for hours each day. It’s what mature, healthy sheep do

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. | Psalm 23:5

What if we ate like sheep? We’d sit down at a fancy table, eat our food with proper etiquette, and then regurgitate our food onto our plates, just to do it all over again.

Imagine doing that during your lunch break.

Oh, the horror!

We’d never go out in public again.

But sheep aren’t phased by the world around them as they eat. They are focused on what’s important, on what’s in front of them. They just keep on chewing that cud, regardless of who sees.

God has provided our sustenance in His Word. We sit at His royal table as the whole world watches. What an honor! We have more than we can even fit into our bellies here! The milk of the stories from the Old Testament, right alongside the meat of Romans and Revelation. Everything needed for life and growth laid out on the table before us.

And the whole world watches.

In the presence of our enemies, our Good Shepherd has abundantly provided for His sheep. He honors us with a place at His table. We don’t wander the land, searching for our sustenance in the world. Our Good Shepherd leads us beside still waters, along paths of righteousness, through the valley of the shadow of death, right to it, providing us with the best –

sustenance from above. 

The eyes of the world are glued to this scene. Will the sheep feed on what the Good Shepherd has so plainly and favorably provided for them?

One by one, the sheep dig in and as they feed on the Word, they grow in health and maturity.

Our Good Shepherd has prepared a table before us for the world to see – everything for life and growth in abundance. We have one responsibility, regardless of who or how many are watching:

eat,
regurgitate,
re-chew,
re-swallow.

The Word of God is our sustenance. As we feed on it and grow in the knowledge of Him, we are transformed through the process of sanctification.

The royal table is the world’s stage.

The providence of the Good Shepherd and the transformation of the sheep are displayed right before the enemies’ eyes. Right at center stage.

And then, something incredible happens: We find some who were once our enemies now seated next to us at the royal table, feeding on the Word of God. The same pattern emerges:

eat,
regurgitate,
re-chew,
re-swallow.

The Good Shepherd loves and honors his sheep. The Good Shepherd leads, protects, and abundantly provides for His sheep. And as His sheep feed on His life-giving, life-sustaining Word, they are grown and matured in Him.

May we joyfully feast upon the Word of God. And may doing so transform us and lead others into the fold.

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