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A Table In The Presence Of My Enemies



“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 God records in the first chapter in Genesis how he created the world. After each thing he created, he said it was "good." And when he was finished, he said it was "VERY good." Well it obviously isn't good now, corruption is everywhere in everything. Suffering is all around us. What happened? When Satan saw the creation of God, and especially when he saw the human beings in a lovely garden, he was enraged. He came against them and lured them into sin, and they fell for it. They sinned. They had no idea what the ramifications of their sin would be because they had never seen death or any kind of corruption. In short ...it changed everything. Sin brought a curse upon the creation, and the name of that curse is "death." Everything dies, even animals, even plants. And today we live with the results of sin, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Death is all around us, and what isn't dead is dying. Not only did Satan succeed in bringing the death principle into the world, but when he sinned Adam lost his God-given authority over the earth. That authority had been given on the condition of his faithfulness to God. When Adam defied God by sinning, he lost his authority and Satan took over. Satan is now "the god of this world." (2 Corinthians 4:4) But God so loved his creation that he sent his Son to take upon himself the judgment due on our sins and to give us eternal life. The price has been paid, but the obtaining of the reversal of the curse has to wait, because Satan still has the legal right until Jesus returns and deposes him. In the meantime, Satan's program on earth is to steal ...that is, to steal whatever sources of happiness a person has, to kill ...that is, to kill dreams and hopes, and successes, and to destroy ...that is, to destroy families, friendships, jobs, relationships, all that he can get his hands on. It's not only sin that brings paths of destruction to us. Looking at the most righteous of men who served God throughout their lives, the "steal, kill, and destroy" principle still happens to all, even to the most faithful. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 to see the incredible string of horrendous sufferings the apostle Paul endured. Not one of us could have survived any of that. So ...it's obvious that it's not only opening doors of sin that brings in sufferings, although that surely will; but anyone being a faithful servant of God is going to be hated above all and will be persecuted by "a messenger of Satan" (2 Corinthians 12:7) who will never cease to cause never-ending suffering to those who love God. But that's not the end of the story. There is a second part. Jesus said: "...but 'I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." This reminds me of the passage in Psalm 23 which says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;" Jesus brings life even into situations of death. He brings joy even into times of great pain. He brings to the believer "the peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) even when strife is all around him. We are never, EVER left alone for he promised: "I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 And to the believer is the promise of an eternity of peace, joy and wonder where: "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then he who sat on the Throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And he said to me, (John) 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'” Revelation 21:4-5