An oasis in the desert

“You prepare a table before me” (Psalm 23:5).

The Lord invites us to his table. This is wonderful – but it’s followed by something that’s not so wonderful: we are surrounded by “enemies.” (Psalm 23:5). We cannot get away from this – but we can come to the Lord’s Table: it’s his oasis in our desert.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). As we drink from the cup of the Lord, the Holy Spirit leads us to our Saviour, from whom we receive overflowing blessing.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). What does this mean? Does it mean that only good things will happen to us? No! – but it does mean that, even when bad things are happening to us, the Lord’s goodness and mercy can break through, enabling us to say, ‘Praise the Lord! – even the bad times are good.’ By his grace, at work in us, we are able to say, ‘Whatever happens, I will praise the Lord’ – “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour” (Habakkuk 3:18).

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Whatever happens, the Lord is with us. These words of faith are not only for the end of our earthly journey. They’re for all the dark times we face at different stages of our journey. Sometimes,we will be surrounded by great darkness – but God will be with us, shining upon us with the bright light of his love.

“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). Forever – when all our dark times are behind us, the Lord’s love continues to shine brightly:

“We will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Let us “encourage one another” in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

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