Wednesday, December 03, 2008

While I have had numerous friends in my life, I have had enemies as far back as I can remember. Enemies don't have to merely be people who hate you or work to harm you.

The Hebrew word for enemies is tsarar, which means:

1) to bind, be narrow, be in distress, make narrow, cause distress, besiege, be straitened, be bound
a) (Qal)
1) to bind, tie up, shut up
2) to be scant, be cramped, be in straits
b) (Pual) to be bound, be tied up
c) (Hiphil)
1) to make narrow for, cause distress to, press hard upon
2) to suffer distress
2) to show hostility toward, vex
a) (Qal)
1) to show hostility toward, treat with enmity, vex, harass
2) vexer, harasser (participle)

These are the kind of enemies I am talking about. Negative circumstances, illnesses, loss, and suffering, and even people who have caused harm to me have surrounded me all the days of my life. The feeling of being vexed and bound, besieged and distressed is not a good one.

During the year of the Lord's favor, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Isaiah.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." ~ Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

God does not intend for us to dwell among the presence of our enemies. His favor has come once again, this time through His Son Jesus Christ. He truly has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies!

The Hebrew word for prepare is `arak, which means:

1) to arrange, set or put or lay in order, set in array, prepare, order, ordain, handle, furnish, esteem, equal, direct, compare
a) (Qal)
1) to arrange or set or lay in order, arrange, state in order, set forth (a legal case), set in place
2) to compare, be comparable
2) (Hiphil) to value, tax

The Hebrew word for the table He prepares is shulchan, which means:

1) table
a) table
1) of king's table, private use, sacred uses

I love that in the midst of trial and vexation, our God arranges and esteems before us His beloved King's table, which speaks to me of personal times where we can go to Him in prayer and read His Word. It's a beautiful table. I imagine it as not the fanciest thing in the furniture store, but one that is scuffed with use, because I have been there many times! It doesn't hold food, well, maybe coffee. It contains my Bible and perhaps a notebook and pen, like the picture above. It's well-used by me and those I invite to join me there.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." ~ Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

When distress and trouble surround us, we can pull a seat up to that table and dine with our Heavenly Father, feasting on His Word, pouring our hearts out in conversation with Him and those we invite to join us for counsel.

He removes the presence of the enemies from us there. He anoints us. The Hebrew word for anoint is dashen, which means:

1) to be fat, grow fat, become fat, become prosperous, anoint
a) (Qal) of prosperity (fig.)
b) (Piel)
1) to make fat, anoint
2) to find fat (of offering - acceptable)
3) to take away ashes (from altar)
c) (Pual) to be made fat
d) (Hothpael) to fatten oneself (of Jehovah's sword)

I love the last definition. to fatten oneself of Jehova's sword. What is His sword?

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ~ Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

I don't know about you, but that's something I would delight to gain weight in! Before this year is out, I will have read the Bible through 3 times. I did that in one year. The first time I gained weight in the area of dealing with the words that I spoke. The second and this third time I am gaining weight in learning the holiness and sovreignty of God. Each time I read His Word, I am happily fattened by the morsels with which He feeds me. These words enlarge my heart!

The oil of His anointing is so great that our cups can indeed overflow!

The Hebrew word for overflow is rĕvayah, which means:

1) saturation

How do we get to the Lord's table? How do we arrive at the place He has prepared for us in the presence of our enemies and receive the anointing that causes us to become saturated in Him?

We call to Him in prayer and the table is suddenly set before us. We have only to take a seat.

"I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD." ~ Psalm 116:13 (NIV)

Let's all become saturated in Him.

S - Seek God daily in prayer. "My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek." ~ Psalm 27:8 (NIV)

A - Accept the restoration and forgiveness He offers. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." ~ 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

T - Take time to feast on God's Word. "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." ~ Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

U - Undergo His transforming power. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

R - Radiate God's love to others. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10 (NIV)

A - Accept a seat at the table He has prepared for you in troubled times. "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." ~ Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

T - Trust completely in God. "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." ~ Psalm 37:3 (NIV)

E - Embrace God's love for you. "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." ~ Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)

D - Determine to walk the faith you talk. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

To view all posts in this series, please visit the links below.

Closing prayer request: I found out Tuesday night that my uncle's cancer is back. This is his fourth bout with malignant melanoma. It came back in the same place in his brain that it was the last time. He had surgery in May and went on chemotherapy pills in July. It has previously been on his back and in his side. Last year was the first time it returned in over 20 years. It showed up in lymph nodes on his side and he underwent grueling immunotherapy. He is scheduled for surgery December 15th. We are a little discouraged but by no means defeated! We are pulling up to the Lord's table that He has prepared for us. Oh, what a timely post this was for me - I had written it before I learned of the return. We believe God's best for Jimmy. He has seen him through thus far and we know that our God is bigger than cancer. We simply trust God. Jimmy is a man of strong faith in the Lord and one of my earthly heroes in life. He's a history teacher and is husband to Susan and dad to James & John, 8 year old twin boys. Please keep them in your prayers.

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


Nicole said...

I really appreciate your teacher's gift. I don't have it but love to be taught from those of you that do!

I will keep your uncle Don on my prayer list and pray when I pray for my father-in-law who has colon/rectal cancer. There are so many with cancer now days. Crazy! God is good through it all!


Melinda said...

I loved your description of the table, as well worn. : )

Denise said...

I love your post, will be praying for your dear uncle.

Joan said...

Great Post!
Thanks for sharing.
Happy WFW!

Melanie said...

I am so thankful for God's anointing love and protection in our lives.

Praying for your uncle and his family! Please keep up updated.

Amydeanne said...

interesting post.. i never thought of the word enemy like you've posted!

happy WFW!

Esthermay said...

Sure puts my feelings about my enemies in new light. Yes! I have a few. :-) Good post - much to hang onto and digest. THANK YOU!
May God be near your uncle and those close to him in the coming days.

Tammy said...

Oh wow...I don't even have words to explain how this post touched my heart. I love the word pictures that it has given me - words to fatten me up. :-)

Tammy said...

P.S. Your uncle and family are in my prayers...

Tiffany Stuart said...

Loved the added insight to these words. You used some of my favorite verses.

Thanks for your comment on my billboard post on Laced with Grace.

Mimi said...

Very inspiring post! Blessings to you.

Jen said...

This was a great post. I've enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for all the encouragment. Blessings.

Tracy said...

Wonderful post, thanks for sharing this amazing teaching! Happy WFW!

Truth4thejourney said...

This is a wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the definitions and the scriptures and I am so excited that we can grow fat at his table eating and drinking up the Word!! Loved it!


Michele Williams said...

Amen sister! I want to grow fat at his table as well! Once again, a wonderful and inspiring post.

Prayer are lifted up for your uncle and family.

Debra said...

Oh Laurie Ann,

If there is weight to be gained in my life...please let it be from my Heavenly Father's Word! Amen!

I am so sorry to hear about your Uncle...please keep us posted, sweet sister and let us know how we can be praying for you.

Hugs to you!

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...Your words of faith & strength are wonderful! Hold on to this & be inspired! Now I understand "timely". You know how I love your "teaching" and acronyms
but more important is your need for prayer for this beautiful family of yours...Lord, We come to this "table" with expectant hearts
...even the surgeon's hands & their table is set before You & Your control...You, the Great Physician are a miraculous God & more powerful that any cancer or illness. Jesus, you suffered for this & so has Jim! Please let this cup pass & remember Jim,Susan, their twins & Your Word in Isaiah that we Your stripes, He is healed. We trust in You & Your Will & WORD for this man of faith! Be with them all & cover this family. You are more than sufficient! You are more than able!
We thank You for great works You have done & will continue to do! We ask for a favorable report & even a miracle in Jesus' Name we pray!

lori said...

Laurie Ann...this was one to "savor.."
"When distress and trouble surround us, we can pull a seat up to that table and dine with our Heavenly Father, feasting on His Word, pouring our hearts out in conversation with Him and those we invite to join us for counsel."

You know that is life...times of distress and troubles....isn't it an amazing PEACE that HE offers us...

One of my favorite verses and I love how your image....awesome!


Lisa said...

That's a great verse with a wonderful message for those in distress. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

It is awesome to see how God works. He already knew about the return of Jimmy's cancer and I believe directed you in the way you posted.

You know I'm praying. Discouraged BUT IN NO WAY DEFEATED.


Tricia said...

Thank you so much for sharing the meat of the Word, I have had a good meal from the table! I just love the visual you gave of pulling up to the King's table with my Bible and notepad, how wonderful that in times of trouble and need all we have to do is pull up to His table and He is there to minister to us and feed us what we need!

I will pray for your uncle, that God's healing touch would flow through his body, for peace, comfort, and strength for the family, and for every single need that arises to be met graciously.


micey said...

surely I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

bp said...

Hi Laurie Ann,

When I read a book recently about the 23rd Psalm, this phrase was particularly interesting.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

What a beautiful verse Laurie Ann. You really are an incredible TEACHER!
I never seem to go "that deep" on the truest meaning of a word. I usually never even think to do that.
Thanks for sharing your insights with us! I always look forward to reading your thoughts and walk away blessed and having learned something.
Thank you!

Named Alicia said...

Incredible word my friend! I love the Saturate. I want to be saturated with His word. Thanks for sharing!

Happy WFW!

Carrie said...

The Biblical passages you present and the interpretation is wonderful. Thank you for this encouraging post!

Susan said...

Wow, I can't believe I missed this post yesterday!!!

I've been wanting to do a study on that passage, this is GREAT.

What a gift you have Laurie. I appreciate each post.

Oh, I'm having a give a way, come check it out.


Patty Wysong said...

Wow! What depth you added with those definitions! Thank you!!!