Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23:5
A panting fugitive is fleeing for his life. He has maimed his brother, and now fear has spurred him to flight. The wild, inhospitable waste stretches before him in shadowless immensity. No bush offers him a secret shelter; no rock offers him a safe defense. His terrified eyes search the horizon, and in the distance he discerns the dim outlines of a desert tent. Spurring himself anew, with the pursuers even at his heels, he reaches the tent and is safe!
He is now the inviolable guest of the desert man. All the hallowed sanctions of hospitality gather about him for his defense. He is taken into the tent and food is placed before him while his evaded pursuers stand frowningly at the door. The fugitive is at rest. Such is the undimmed glory of Arab hospitality.
What is its spiritual significance? The Lord our God is the fugitive’s refuge. “In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me” (Psa. 27:5). In the Lord our God we are secured against the destructiveness of our yesterdays, the menaces of today, and the darkening fears of the morrow. Our enemies are stayed at the door! We are the Lord’s guests, and our sanctuary is inviolable!
The saints in glory may be a lot happier than we are, but they are no safer. They are no nearer, nor no dearer to Christ, nor held more securely in the keeping of Christ than we are down here in the presence of our enemies. —James McGinlay