A Well-Dressed Table

Pixabay, Public Domain
Sheep need sufficient pasture or they will not feed well. They need quiet waters or else they will not drink. They need a place free from predators and danger or they will be too anxious to eat or drink.

It’s the job of the shepherd to look after all these things.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5).

It’s the shepherd’s job to “prepare a table.”

Hunger is an enemy. Thirst is an enemies. Snakes and wolves and thieves are enemies.

In the human realm, the pastor-shepherd’s task is much the same. He must “prepare a table” so that hunger for Truth is satisfied. He must “prepare a table” so the thirst for the waters of salvation can be quenched. He must chase away the snakes-in-the-grass and the wolves-in-sheep’s- clothing that prey on his flock. He must deal with the thieves that rob the flock of peace and disturb them, making it difficult for them to benefit from the banquet that God has for them through the ministry of His Word and the presence of His Spirit.

It’s the shepherd’s job to “prepare a table.” Did we mention that being a true pastor-shepherd was not a task for the lazy or the fainthearted?

Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, is One who prepares His table well. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled” is one of His many promises (Matthew 5:6). He also reminds us: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

But the promises made for today are only a foretaste of the promises yet to come. Jesus told His disciples that He was returning to heaven to “prepare a place” for them (John 14:2). The banquet hall in this place, the table set for us that is yet to come, is beyond our imaginations.

John, who was privileged to see a vision of what this would be like, wrote: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready…Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!…Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor the scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 19:7, 9, 7:16, 17)

Hallelujah! That's a Shepherd!

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