The Psalmist wrote one of the most famous psalms we have all come to love, Psalms 23. For me a portion that will stand out is verse 5: "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."
The reason for this is because many a time in my life I have been a rejected man, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, a despised someone. At the peak of my time, were I to use soccer terms, I was first team player. My name was the most sought out, I was identified with many things. But then the silent years came by. I couldn't make the first eleven any more; I wasn't even playing on the reserve team. And I couldn't even make a substitute's appearance even in practice. I was forgotten, I was despised. My friends and loved ones did not recognize me; even my future in-laws rejected me as their daughter's choice. But that wasn't God.
Maybe you are not even registered in the team of faith anymore. Your coach doesn't recognize you anymore and you've been branded excess baggage. You have talent but no one seems to take notice at all. But hold on because there is a table to be set for you. David had been in the backside of life for long. He was a shepherd boy; his brothers were officers in Israel's army. He was a last born son, he was not even remembered when the Prophet Samuel called for all the sons of Jesse.
However, it is amazing to note that when Samuel was going to anoint a king, a table had to be prepared. "Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.' And call Jesse to the sacrifice" 1 Samuel 16v2. In verse 5 we read that Jesse and his sons were called to the sacrifice. But David was not invited. He was out in the bush looking after the family's sheep. All 7 sons of Jesse passed before Samuel but none found favour in the Eyes of God. Then Samuel asked if there was still not another son, who may have been mistakenly left out, to come to the set table- and it was David.
David was not considerable in his family. His brothers were favourable in appearance such that Samuel would say of Eliab, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before Him." David was ruddy but God declared that it was David he had desired for king. Its not that David's brothers were enemies, but the table that had been set was not theirs. That's the reason why Samuel would say: "Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither" 1 Samuel 16v11.
He was the man whom God had prepared the feast for. When his appointed time came to pass, it was easy for him to come before the set table. And when he did come, the oil was poured upon his head in the presence of his brethren and from that day forward, the Spirit of the LORD came upon David. And he as the last born, the shepherd, and the ruddy one was anointed king of God's beloved nation.
You may be in a situation where you think that God has forgotten about you. Like me, you may not be playing in your favourite team in the Premier League of Faith. But do know that there is a set table before you. David was behind the scenes, living in the silent years, relegated to the unfashionable Division of the Unknowns but God promoted him at the right time, for the right table. Everyone else had their table but when the time came for David's table, the silent years came to an end and he was now moving in the LORD's anointing.
You see, Moses had wined and dined in Pharaoh’s house for 40 years and enjoyed the pleasures of Egypt. But all along he had been sitting at the wrong table. It was set, but that was the wrong one. One day God used the most unfashionable means to evict him from royalty to the backside of the desert for the next 40 years. After 40 lonely years, God had finished setting up a table fit for a renegade as Moses- the Starter being at the burning bush and the Main Course in Egypt, reserving the Dessert for the Exodus years to Canaan. And when the meal was completed God laid to rest His own servant.
You may be at a time in your life where you would identify with King Jesus as He hung on the cross and cried out: "Eloi Eloi Lama lama sabachthani?" But you don't know what was happening behind the scenes. You don't know that the darkness around you has a purpose. Jesus had endured three long and lonely dark hours in pain. For the first time in His life it seemed as though God had forsaken Him. But heaven did not respond to that question. At the appointed time, Jesus cried out: "IT IS FINISHED- The debt has been paid in full." God may not want to answer you because you will not accept His answer. Jesus must have heard His father say, "It is not finished, the debt has not been paid in full," and so He endured. Maybe God said, "The table has not been set yet."
You too need to hold on. Take a look at how chefs prepare a sumptuous meal. You need the best ingredients, the best cutlery and crockery, the best chefs, the best venue and of course you the guest. If God is preparing such a good meal for you be sure it will take time. He has to gather all the best ingredients- the suffering, the pain, the bad days, the unfair experiences- He has to cook the meal in great heat for all the right flavours to come out. And then He still needs to prepare the right table. He is preparing that food for you.
My friend, God is not in a hurry but He sure knows that if lunch has to be served at 1300hrs be sure it will not be one second late. Your enemies may gather around you and mock you but remember the time for the set table will come. Jesus was in a house full of His enemies when an expensive, jar of sweet nard was broken. His table had been set and at that time His Head was anointed with oil. We know that some of the guests were complaining about the waste but his table had been set.
My friend, Goliath mocked, scorned and despised the armies of Israel for 40 days until the table was set for the now famous David and Goliath battle. All along David was in the quiet years. He had been out of the picture up till now but when his table was set David came to the great meal and devoured the enemy.
Understand also friend that oil takes time to prepare. Its not that heaven is out of stock. But its only that God is preparing an overflow anointing oil just for you and me. Remember that olive oil comes from crushed and pressed olives. This symbolizes the hardships you and I are going through. But when He pours His sweet oil on your head it will overflow. It took Jesus to go through Calvary for us to enjoy our salvation. Your table is being prepared and God is busy inviting your enemies to come and see the day He sets you apart.
God is ordering the finest decor and tableware for you. He is ordering the best cutlery and crockery for you. He is making the garments for your waiters. Your chefs are busy preparing the finest cuisine and if you take wine, God is maturing the best yet. My friend, I assure you that the minute you walk into that place every eye will see the goodness of the LORD. Queen Sheba walked into the dining hall of King Solomon and the food of his table, and the seating of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers and their apparel and his cupbearers took out her doubts that indeed God sets the best tables.
When your table has been set you shall be invited. For dessert you shall understand why David said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Dumi Nkomo may not be an attractive man at present; he may be considered a nobody. But his day is coming when the table shall be fully set. And you, my friend, shall hear about it through and through. Don’t despair because God will prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies. Why not hold fast to that word of Psalms 23v5.
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