You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 23:5 (WEB)
Do you ever promise yourself or God or someone you love that you will never do something again? â€œI will never be sarcastic to my mother again.â€ â€œI will never forget your birth date again.â€ â€œNo more â€˜fudgingâ€™ on my tax returns or checkbook again. Iâ€™ve learned my lesson.â€ We boast so big and try to cover-up our broken heart when we fail.
But Peter answered him, â€œEven if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.â€
Jesus said to him, â€œMost certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.â€
Peter said to him, â€œEven if I must die with you, I will not deny you.â€ â€¦
Then he began to curse and to swear, â€œI donâ€™t know the man!â€
Immediately the rooster crowed.
Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, â€œBefore the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.â€ He went out and wept bitterly.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 26:33-35, 74-75 (WEB)
Days later, Peter is back in a fishing boat (John 21). He goes back to what is most comfortable. Maybe he thought that was all he could now expect. Jesus had rose from the dead and appeared to them, spoke to them, but Peter still carried the shame of having let his Savior down.
I feel like that sometimes. I have let God down by not moving ahead in my spiritual walk. Not every step in my walk is a step forward (surprised? I hope not!) Usually it is not so much a step back but a â€˜stallâ€™ as I spend too much time examining and thinking about a â€˜noâ€™ or â€˜waitâ€™ from God.
Peter is served a beautiful lunch by His Savior. Jesus appears to them not just to bring them a wonderful catch (once again!) but He reinstates Peter as He questions him about how much he loves Him.
David says it more clearly in Psalm 23. David tells me that God will bring me through the valley that is shadowed in death. He says I will not fear the evil there because God walks with a staff to guide me and a rod to drive off the evil. Then David tells me how totally safe it is by explaining to me that in front of my enemies â€“ God sets a table. Jesus prepared the Passover table for His disciples. He washed their feet, including Judasâ€™, the example of the enemy in that scene. Then Jesus sent Judas away to do what he must do. Judas did not share in the feast of words that followed in John 14-16. The enemy had no part of the feast from the table. When Jesus comes again and brings me to the marriage supper of the Lamb, there will be no place for evil there either.
Today I sit at a table with my Lord and He serves me a feast of wisdom and love and forgiveness. It is a feast to which I am invited every day because I am the Kingâ€™s child. He saved me. He loves me. Past, present, and future. God lovesâ€¦me.