You prepare a table before me (Ps 23:5)
The psalmist, David shifts his attention for protection from the valley of death in verse 4 to the new metaphor in verse 5, God as the bounteous host. The psalmist paints this beautiful picture of a generous table at which God can defy all his enemies.
For, one to eat at the host’s table means the guest is under His protection. In, those days the news of man’s wealth is spread through his dinner parties. The more lavish his hospitality, the more his fame spread. Today the standards of success are determined by the number of fancy cars one possesses or how lavish is the mansion on the hill manned with menservants and maidservants a person owns. However, in traditional Middle Eastern culture, when you want the community to know you have made it in the world and that you are a person of wealth, successful people would host meals with three times as much food on the table as the multitudes of guests can eat.
The Table Set Out by Our King
Keep that thought entrenched in your mind and now read the words of Isaiah the prophet in chapter 25:6-8.
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
Our God, Yahweh, watches as the nations’ make their journey to the mountain of the Lord. On this mountain, Yahweh has prepared a feast to show His enemies His power and majesty.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9
Yahweh will establish His kingship on His mountain. God lays out a banquet in the presence of His enemy Satan. Moreover, by the abundance and the quality of the feast, God displays His superiority. Through this lavish spread, Yahweh declares victory over Satan, sin, and death. Often, death or the powers of the evil one’s underworld are pictured as the swallower of life.
Therefore, Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down, her revelers and he who exults in her. Isaiah 5:14
Yahweh snatches victory from the mouth of death and replaces it with everlasting life. Typical food only prolongs our existence; at the feast, God lays out before the nations, even death is conquered. God will swallow up death forever, and the Lord will wipe away the tears from all nations. Heaven is the banquet, the war is over, the victory one. Come and dine all is ready. The funeral will turn into a wedding! Sorry has turned to joy. Tears have been replaced with laughter. All because the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ has laid down His life for the sheep. Faith in this Shepherd is the only ticket we need to attend this beautifully prepared feast. Come now all is ready.