May 19, 2017
This is probably going to be as
different an approach as any I’ve ever taken, but the picture of the Table of
the Lord that He sets for us in the midst of our enemies is perhaps one of the
least understood and the most rewarding.
This is a revelation which, if you can get a hold of, will literally
bless your socks off!
where we’ve just come from? The Valley
of the Shadow of Death. The presence of
enemies on every side. Opposition that
has required our steadfast trust in the Lord and the comfort that comes with
knowing that He is the One Who has led us, He is the One whose rod of
correction AND rod of authority have been the ever-present source of comfort
and satisfaction in all that He has wrought in our lives from the moment we
made Him our Lord and Shepherd.
rightly put it when he wrote:
Psalm 23:5: Thou preparest a
table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
last part of that statement is critical to understanding what the Lord is doing
with us right now! Remember: our enemies
have not departed. They haven’t left us
alone. They haven’t stopped in their
efforts to defeat us. They haven’t
ceased to throw darts of doubt, fear and unbelief our way in order to get us to
give up. They haven’t given up on the
idea that they are the ones in authority, that we are really
losers who have followed false claims and illogical beliefs that make no
reasoning sense at all.
what Isaiah prophesied (and this is exactly what David is referring to in his
Isaiah 54:17: No weapon that is
formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise
against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the
servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
have been formed against us! Let’s be
clear. The Valley of the Shadow of Death
is no picnic. It isn’t an easy time. The Enemy absolutely does not want us to make
it through this place. He surrounds us
with accusers, with doubters, with folks who tell us that we’ve just
misunderstood the Word and that what we’ve hoped for and expected just isn’t
going to happen.
the Lord IS with us, and even though we will be attacked in the Valley
experience (and that’s a guarantee!) we’ve not been forgotten by the Lord. He takes a dim view of His people being taken
advantage of, falsely accused, physically assaulted or shamed in some way. That said, consider these promises:
Isaiah 49:18-19: Lift up thine
eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and
come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee
with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and
the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the
inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
that the Lord is promising to bring your accusers and your attackers and
“clothe you with them” in such a way that they become “an ornament” — a sign
and symbol to all who see you that His approval is on you — not
on those who’ve falsely attacked and accused you!
a strange way to put it – and this is a Hebrew metaphor – but what God is
saying is that those who’ve been your greatest detractors will see the
vindication of the Lord upon you, in you and with you, and they will yield. In fact, in many cases, your erstwhile
greatest enemies may well become your greatest friends and supporters.
that’s being clothed with them “as an ornament!”
Isaiah 59:16-19: And he saw
that there was no man, and wondered that there was no
intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his
righteousness, it sustained him. For he
put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his
head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad
with zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury
to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay
recompense. So shall they fear the name
of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the
enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a
standard against him.
you see it? Do you see how the Lord
avenges you? In Isaiah 59:19, the Hebrew
is even stronger. The phraseology goes
“When, like a flood, the enemy shall come, the Spirit
of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
Hebrew word, nus,
is the word translated in this instance as “standard.” “Standard” really doesn’t properly translate
the word, nus. It means: to flick away, as with
one’s finger, to cause to disappear, to drive away hastily.
has a double meaning. The first and most
obvious meaning is that the enemy is caused to be driven away hastily, or to be
made to disappear. (I’ll come back to
this one momentarily.) The second
meaning is that the problems caused by the Enemy are made to disappear, or to
be “flicked away.”
second meaning is the one we would more likely associate with, “Thou
preparest a Table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” The problems caused by our enemies are
brought to naught (zip, nada, nothing!) while they are still around and
watching what is taking place as the Lord vindicates and prospers His people in
the face of attack and opposition.
take a deeper look at the first meaning.
Consider the event that unfolded when the Moabites and the Ammonites
came up against Judah and Jerusalem when Jehoshaphat was King. A virtually innumerable army was assembled against
Judah. Jehoshaphat had absolutely no
chance of defeating an army of such size with the relatively small contingent
of fighting men in his army. So
Jehoshaphat calls for a day of fasting (Hmmm … that’s the opposite of
“feasting,” isn’t it?). At the end of the
fast, a descendant of the singer/prophet, Asaph, who was a key part of David’s
tabernacle, stood and prophesied the following:
And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not
afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is
not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye
down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz;
and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not
need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still,
and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not,
nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with
Jehoshaphat instructed the priests – in fact, that same assemblage of singers
and musicians who were descendants of the original three families in David’s
tabernacle – to go out before their very modest military with singing and
praising God. Here’s how the next part
of this event unfolds – and watch how the Lord “flicks the enemy” with His
20:20-24: And they rose early
in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa:
and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye
inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be
established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he
appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness,
as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were
smitten. For the children of Ammon and
Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir,
utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the
inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy
another. And when Judah came toward the
watch tower in the wilderness, they
looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
see it now, don’t you? Oh, but wait! There’s more!
Remember, we are talking about the Table of the Lord and the provision
He makes for you in the presence of your enemies.
20:25-30: And when Jehoshaphat
and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in
abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they
stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were
three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves
in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the
LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and
Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for
the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries
and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms
of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the
enemies of Israel. So the realm of
Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
about a demonstration! The enemy
slaughtered each other. It all happened
in the midst of praise and worship. When
Israel came upon the site of the expected battle, their enemies were dead to
the last man! The Table that the Lord
set for Israel in the face of their erstwhile enemy included provisions and
such wealth that it took them three days to gather it all and carry it away.
end of that story is that because of the great victory that the Lord gave
Jehoshaphat and Judah over the Moabites and Ammonites, the whole of the
surrounding countryside – the neighboring nations – heard about it and it frightened
the living daylights out of them. It was
a supernatural victory, The Lord set the
stage for His people against all natural – let’s call it “human reasoning” –
odds. From that day forth, so long as
Jehoshaphat sat on the throne in Jerusalem, they had peace, and their enemies
stayed away from them.
when the Enemy attempts to overwhelm you or inundate you with negative
circumstances or apparent “doom and gloom” events, to use an old cliché, the
Lord comes down on your enemies “like ugly on an ape.”
Isaiah 61:7: For
your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall
rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the
double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
it? This is that table that has been set
before you in the midst of your enemies.
And that’s only a fraction of what God has for us.
a look at one of the most unusual tables of the Lord, set in the midst of
Israel’s enemies. I’m quoting the entire
story from II Kings so that you can get the context of God’s intervention for
Israel, and the “standard” He set up against them.
II Kings 6:8-23:
Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel
with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my
camp. And the man of God sent unto the
king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the
Syrians are come down. And the king of
Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and
saved himself there, not once nor twice.
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for
this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not show me
which of us is for the king of Israel?
And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the
prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of
Israel the words that thou speakest in thy
And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and
fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he
thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and
compassed the city about.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone
forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And
his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be
with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray
thee, open his eyes, that he may see.
And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and,
behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about
Elisha. And when they came down to him,
Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with
blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not
the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to
the man whom ye seek.
But he led them to Samaria.
And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said,
LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw;
and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when
he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with
thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat
and drink, and go to their master. And
he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he
sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no
more into the land of Israel.
this instance, Elisha did to the King of Syria exactly what Jesus instructed in
His “Sermon on the Mount.”
Gotta stop here for today. We will finish this next week!
I remind those of you
in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call normally takes place on the
first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number is (712) 775-7035.
The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have
difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original
call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our
Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about
10:45AM Pacific. That conference number
is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings
available by Skype. If you wish to
participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial
(712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded –
not yet, anyway.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
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