“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Ps 23:5
God notices nobodies! On November 7, 1918 a minute before noon, a telegraph from United Press arrived on the 3rd floor of the New York World HQ reporting that World War One was over. Within hours this sparked wild celebrations across a war weary United States. People flooded into the streets ignoring restrictions on public gatherings because of Spanish Flu. Everything came to a halt. The only problem was that it wasn’t true, and the country slowly deflated after Secretary of State Robert Lansing was forced to issue an official denial: “Report that the armistice with Germany has been signed is untrue.” The whole world’s attention was on the war, suffering and flu. Nobody noticed or cared that on that day on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, a young couple had their first child. A little boy! They decided to name him William. Perhaps they already knew he would be affectionately known as Billy. Billy Franklin Graham. God knew. God noticed and He had a plan for this nobody. Billy Graham would go on to preach the Gospel to over 215 million people in 185 countries. God notices and will use nobodies who have a heart devoted to Him.
David himself knew what it was like to be a nobody. When the spiritual leader of Israel, the great prophet Samuel, came to his family to anoint a new King, even David’s own family forgot all about him, but God saw a devoted heart and raised him up. In this part of the Psalm David has a deeper meaning beyond a literal table. The setting of a table was to show respect and to provide. In scripture it was used for honour and devotion. The setting of a table before his enemies was an acknowledgement of God being with him and with Israel as protector and provider. “Yes, they spoke against God: They said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” (Psalms 78:19)
As we read these words over our lives, they point us to the new covenant in Jesus Christ. We can confidently approach his throne of grace knowing that when our hearts are submitted and fully devoted to Him, He sees every person and promises to provide the strength, grace and anointing to overcome the enemy. He sets the table. He anoints with the Holy Spirit. He fills the cup. The promise of Jesus to every nobody is “‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
• Commit verse 5 to memory and recite verses 1-5.
• Today eat a meal around a set table. Before you eat read Psalm 23 aloud and give prayers of thanks for God’s provision both physical and spiritual. Give Him all the honour because in Jesus, a banqueting table has been set before us, a bunch of nobodies whom he has chosen to see.