The other day, at Daily Tehillem, it was Psalm 23. While I’ve read the psalm many times, and various comentaries, the last two verses struck me as wonderful prayer:
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
A prayer not only for me, but to be directed toward others, on the behalf of others. For in this prayer I see first the victory G-d blesses us with in the future. We are given a glimpse of a future where we are raised up, to no longer be trod upon. We must receive it with our eyes–our spiritual eyes–to see the result of our hope, the future blessing, where we dwell together with the Lord for ever, in unity, in love, in peace.
In this blessing, we are also told that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. I think about the various desires I’ve had over the years that G-d has, if not completely, at least partially and wondrously fulfilled. The most recent is the Noon Bible Study. G-d has granted me a look, too, at suffering, whether physical or emotional. I begin to see how great a reward we are given now, and awaits us, not only eternally, but in this life as well. We can’t earn such a blessing, yet only need to hold on to the hope, not turn away.
I am saddened when hearing people who give up on our Lord, can’t endure any longer, so forfeit their place at the Table of the Lord. I think our response to life, in general, must be as was the response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prior to being thrown into a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Daniel 3).
. . . our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Perhaps I am finally learning a little of the lifestyle of faith and hope.