Dealing With Enemies, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” 

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David wrote Psalm 23 toward the end of his life, and therefore it is his reflection of God’s work in the life of David. David had the following experiences: tending sheep, defeating Goliath, being chased by King Saul, anointed King of Israel, committing adultery, repenting of his sin, etc…. To say that David had a full life of vast experiences would be an understatement. Many of us are familiar with this most popular Psalm but what snapshot of David’s life was he thinking of when he wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…?” Was Goliath on his mind, or one of his many battles that he led? I believe that David reflected on the time his sheep were hunted by a lion or a bear that could easily devour and carry them away. However David was the sheep, and he was not being hunted by a foreign army, or even any such enemy of Israel, he was being hunted by an enemy lion, with the attributes of Satan who seeks to steal kill and destroy, that was supposed to be on his side.

“He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe “, 1Samuel 24:3-4.

Perhaps the worst enemies of all are those that you think are on your side, but that pursue your demise. There may be any number of reasons such as jealousy or bitterness, which in the case with David and Saul seemed to be the prevalent reasons. David learned how to dodge Saul’s spears time and time again, and now David is hiding out far back in a cave. Interestingly enough though while David and his men were at the back of the cave, guess who laid down to rest near the front of cave? Saul! God had prepared a table for David in the presence of his enemy Saul. David had Saul in the palm of his hand as David was standing over a sleeping Saul he raised his blade over Saul. WOW, God had given David’s enemy into his hands for him to deal with as he wished. David being more honorable man than Saul chose to spare Saul’s life by bringing the blade down and cutting off a piece of Saul’s robe to show that he could have taken Saul’s life.

“…The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;” God’s favor rested with a righteous David as he brought his enemy to him and placed David’s enemy in a vulnerable state. God has a way of bringing down our enemies, and preparing a table of blessing before us in their presence. David could have killed Saul, but he didn’t. David implored what we now read as Christ’s words, “Bless your enemies.” Are their perhaps those that are seeking your demise because God is looking with favor upon you? Do not fear because God has a way of bringing your enemies to your feet and preparing a table before you in the very presence of your enemies.

Application: Have you been following the world’s advice of “don’t get mad, get even?” “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, Romans 12:19-20. Blessings Pastor Phil

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