The Beauty of Vindication – A Table in the Presence of my Enemies

Psa 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. (3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (4) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

In this present evil world, the Christian is going to be accused, slandered, persecuted, and hated. Is that not what Jesus experienced? Well, the servant is not greater than his master. If the world hated Christ, it will hate us as well.

We know that the wicked accuse the righteous. They even use the fact that we are persecuted as “evidence” that God is not blessing us.

Mat 27:43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”

Notice then very carefully what David tells us in the 23rd Psalm:

Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Christ vindicates His people. We experience some of that vindication now on occasion, but the Day is coming when we are going to be “guests of honor” at Christ’s banquet. He will own us, He will invite us. The King will say to each of us “come to My banquet which I am preparing in your honor.”  And get this:

The King is going to do this right in front of our enemies

They will be “outside” looking in. They will not be invited, but they can see it all. So let’s put this right down where we can get a firm hold on it:

One day your abuser and all of his wicked allies are going to watch you be honored by Christ the King at a banquet like no banquet this world has ever seen. You will receive absolute vindication right in front of them. All of their evil, false accusations made against you will be revealed to be lies. And then the King will order these enemies to depart into outer darkness, never to return.

That is what the Scripture means when it tells us that Christ prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. And it is going to taste really, really good.

 

18 thoughts on “The Beauty of Vindication – A Table in the Presence of my Enemies

  1. No Name

    I don’t see much vindication in this life, but perhaps it is because it indeed is a Judgment Day kind of thing, Being so shredded and beaten down, I’d be content with just knowing and seeing God throw the abusers and other wicked into hell. But God knows best and I guess there’ll be a banquet and I’ll like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Name

      I was thinking about this again and assuming it’s not metaphorical, of course the banquet will be good, as Jesus is hosting it!

      And He’ll probably strike the wicked mute so they cannot shout insults, jeer, and so forth. Kind of like how when Jesus comes back on Judgment Day every knee will bow… whether the wicked like it or not, they’ll be bowing.

      Vicious evildoers, abusers have so much power in this life, and the venom they inject into their victims, with the abuse they hurl at their targets, is murderous and ruinous. Thankfully, they won’t be polluting heaven.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debby

    I have always been curious. My abuser (s) were abused. Do they go to their own banquet, then sit outside of mine? Is it about repentance? I know this is nitty gritty in response to a (possible) metaphor. Just wondering what my favorite pastor says.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff Crippen

      Abusers will have no banquet. None can blame being abused as an excuse to abuse. Many people have gone thru abuse but do not treat others wickedly. Good question tho. Thx!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. cindy burrell

      Hello, Debby. I believe it was Dr. Jim Dobson who wrote, “The same hot water that softens the carrot hardens the egg.” We have all been deeply wounded at some point – some more than others, for sure – but I believe each of us chooses what we will do with our pain, whether we will allow it to make us tender-hearted toward others who may be similarly hurting or whether we will instead become hardened and bitter and self-serving. We all know how scary it is to risk being vulnerable after being deeply hurt by those who should have been our protectors, but we also know that the rewards are worth the risk, as there is no heavy burden of anger and resentment to carry!

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Natalie

    I know what you are saying, but the thought of them being lost forever makes me so sad. I have experienced a lot of wicked abuse at the hands of my father, uncles, cousins, a college rapist, then my ex husband of 24 years. I do not remember a time before being sexually abused, it started when I was around 5 years old.
    But when I think of all these people being tormented, lost forever, it does not make me feel vindicated. It makes me want to cry. Why couldn’t they just see their sin and repent and make it right?? Why can’t they see it? I saw my sin. I repented. I chose not to hurt others. Why are some people so hard hearted? How do we tell the wicked from the wounded?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff Crippen

      Natalie – Concerning your question about discerning the wounded from the wicked, consider this verse:

      Mat 15:18-19 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. (19) For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

      Now, this means that what an abuser does is the product of his evil heart and mind. What he does shows us who he is. And notice then that Jesus says the problem does not originate outside a person, but from inside. That is to say no one can blame their actions on any external source. To say that an abuser might be abusing because he is somehow wounded and therefore a kind of victim, is to get Jesus’ words here backwards.

      Remember, when we are talking about abusers, we are speaking of people who have a profound sense of entitlement to possess power and control over others, and to feel fully justified in using evil tactics to gain and maintain that power and control. Their heart is evil. This is who they are. They want to abuse. They are not victims of some wounding. That is not the common denominator in abusers, because many people have been sorely abused growing up but they do not abuse others.

      Now, let’s say we have a person who professes to be a Christian but who sins against others. Let’s say this person even sins against others in a pretty predictable way – anger, jealously, etc. And let’s say that these are patterns that they learned growing up. Well, the Bible tells us that every single Christian, the real regenerate person, WILL be sanctified progressively. Made more holy in practice, in their thinking, in their love for others. So that when their sin is pointed out to them and maybe that even happens through some genuine, wise counseling (which is rare) or more likely the Holy Spirit shows their sin to them, they see it. They repent of it. Why? Because their heart is new. They have been made a new person in Christ. The fruit of their life changes.

      I suspect that most of the ideas about how abusers are people who have been abused by others, is coming from abusers themselves. And people believe them. “I was sexually molested when I was growing up. You need to have empathy for me.” Nope. Don’t buy that. Many people were abused growing up, but they are not abusers.

      So then, an abuser is an abuser. I would not make a distinction between the wicked and the wounded if we are talking about people who are abusers as we define them. No one who is an abuser deserves the empathy that they are trying to get from us. And if we fall into that feel sorry for them, empathy trap, all we are doing is playing into their evil hands.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Anonymous

        I was waiting for this. This is such a good reply. I grow in wisdom more and more in reading this stuff of yours, Pastor Crippen. 🙂

        Proverbs 27:17

        “As iron sharpens iron,
        so one person sharpens another.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Natalie

        Thank you, Jeff. You are wise and totally right.
        My adult son is always saying to me, “Mom, you make excuses for others that you would NEVER allow yourself to make for you.” I know he is right.

        I keep struggling with compassion vs. Protecting myself. I keep looking for the potential good in everyone, even when their actions to not match. I can’t seem to not still feel love for even those who harmed me and my sisters.
        I grew up watching the women victims of abuse forgive and maintain relationships with our abusers, while the abusers never repented or even stopped abusing. My mother made so many excuses for my father.

        I grew up in church hearing “turn the other cheek” love covers a multitude of sins, don’t gossip, forgive not 7 times, but 70 times 7 times…..and we ladies of the family did, over and over, until God seemed like a hateful father that could not be pleased no matter how perfect we were.

        My father was a children’s church leader and pedophile. Cruel and Violent at home, preaching love from the pulpit.

        Then I married an abusive man, who mocked God and my faith, but pretended to be the perfect, loving Christian at church. Every church we attended told me the bruises and abuse was because I was not submissive enough. Everytime I tried to get help I was blamed and humiliated by pastors.
        I still can not read Ephesians without feeling sick.
        Thank you, Jeff, for helping me untangle the scriptures that were used my whole life to keep me in bondage to abusers. I still have a lot of untangling to do.
        I am grateful for your writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jeff Crippen

          Natalie- what you have written here is real wisdom. You are courageous and you are seeing with more and more clarity. Press on!

          I have seen numbers of people like yourself who have a kind and compassionate personality. IMO abusers spot people like this as an easy target. What we all need to work on is gaining a Christlike wisdom so that we can tell the wicked they are children of the devil and show compassion to the person robbed and beaten like the Good Samaritan did.

          Be like Jesus – there is the key. And what your past churches did was present a false Jesus to you who never made a whip and drove the wicked out. They avoid that or somehow claim his whip wasn’t real.

          For my part I want nothing to do with most preachers and churches nowadays. They are allies of the enemy and oppressors of widows and orphans.

          Many blessings to you in Christ!

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful encouragement, Pastor Crippen. I still grieve and pray for those I nurtured. That they would repent and desire to be at the banquet table. Others who believe me are shocked that they would turn against me and join other abusers against me. 😦

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  5. Z

    Thank you Pastor. This promise of God is the only thing that brings me consolation after the long term multiple abuses I’ve suffered. I have little to no experience nor hope of justice being done in this life.

    Just as it is God’s desire that none perish and none have to watch us have a banquet prepared by the Lord in their presence, to which they are not invited, and then be thrown out into eternal separation from God, I too wish the wicked who so harmed me and their allies in evil would repent.

    But as you’ve stated so many times, they want to be gods themselves and are very unlikely to ever humble themselves to repent to the true God. And you say that you know of none who have repented. And that unlikelihood is backed up even by secular experts.

    But I won’t spend any of my time or energy anymore grieving their reprobate souls’ state. That is the mistake that got me more and more abused. Trying to “bear up” under their evil and show them the heart of Jesus in me.

    Scripture warns us not to allow evil to proliferate this way or to let the wicked “strike your cheek”. My trying in vain to make a difference and lead them to Christ by my “Godly example” made me more of a target of their evil. Darkness HATES the Light in us. That equals MORE abuses.

    I thank God now for the vindication and the banquet He will gift to me in the presence of my enemies. I don’t give a thought anymore to my abusers’ eternal life. They choose to face God’s Wrath.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. walkinginlight

    This scripture has always brought much comfort to me through the years. While I have never wished ill on my enemies I trust God’s righteous judgement to punish them how He sees fit.
    This has given me much peace and not to become bitter. While I have seen the Lord punish four people who were viciously mean to me, I still have not witnessed the Lord deal with the anti-husband yet. I must continue to trust and know His thoughts are not my thoughts. Here is another scripture I have always loved.
    Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie-I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
    Rev. 3:9
    MARANATHA!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stormy

      Walking in the light—Oh my gosh I love that verse about them bowing at our feet. I’m memorizing that one. I’ve also seen God really punish those who’ve done less harm to me but I have not seen my abuser reap what he has sown??

      Liked by 1 person

  7. walkinginlight

    Stormy.
    Though I saw with my own eyes God punish four who very viciously vile and mean to me (this was only because I am a Christian) and the worst offender who God sent clear across the country passed away. I do not know why the Lord holds back His righteous judgement and anger for the anti-husbands. I do know that when we are with Him all will be become crystal clear. In the meantime we can live knowing that we are precious jewels in His eyes and under his constant watch and care. I always say to myself, vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Also, I would like to share that when I saw God punish my enemies, I was very careful to not be happy about it which greatly displeases the Lord. I was careful to guard my heart and looked at the punishments in awe for I knew they came directly from God.
    MARANATHA!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stormy

    Thank you walking in the light. I also was both fearful and grateful when I saw the hand of god move against an evil doer. Fearful in that God is sovereign and great beyond measure —but also grateful that in light of the injustice in this world, God himself allowed me to witness his hand of justice at work. I believe he allowed me to see his word come to pass. This encouraged my faith and helped me to trust God for the rest. I’ve seen Gods protection in different forms in my life. Overall I can say in many cases rejection has been Gods protection.

    Liked by 2 people

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