Rick Warren Daily Hope Devotional For January 31, 2023 : Topic – Surrender Your Defense to God
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“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
Psalm 23:5 (NIV)
King David knew what it meant to be attacked emotionally, verbally, and physically. As a young man, he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel, but Saul was still king. Even though David served him loyally, Saul was jealous of the future king and decided to kill him. David had to hide from Saul in caves while lies were being told about him across the kingdom. Yet David never said a bad word against King Saul. He never retaliated—because God was preparing David to be a king who followed God’s heart.
David said of God, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5 NIV).
Does it sound like David was stressed out? No! He didn’t have to use up all his energy defending himself, because he trusted God to be his defender.
It takes a lot of faith and humility to trust God and rest when you’re under attack, when you’re misunderstood, and when rumors are spreading about you. When that happens, everything in you wants to rise up and do something about it. How do you handle people who attack you? You don’t. You let God handle them.
Trust God to be your defender.
Not only does God want to defend you, but he also wants to fellowship with you: “You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration” (Psalm 5:11 The Message).
Both Psalm 23 and Psalm 5 paint the picture of a banquet, or a party, at an unlikely time—not just when good times are happening but when you’re under attack.
If you’re in the heat of the battle right now, God knows about it. Maybe you’re fighting for your job. Or you’re fighting for your health. You’re fighting for your sanity. You’re fighting for your dignity. While the battle is going on, he wants to throw a banquet for you to offer just a little encouragement.
God wants to give a party in a combat zone, to host a banquet on a battlefield. That kind of encouragement is available to you today when you surrender your worry, pain, and control to Jesus and rest in his promises to you.
If you’re a child of God, your heavenly Father is proud of you. Critics may spite you, slander you, ignore you, ridicule you, or libel you, but they can’t stop God’s blessing on your life.
As the Bible says, “He brought me to his banquet hall and raised the banner of love over me” (Song of Solomon 2:4 GNT).