"In the presence of mine enemies." Psalm 23:5
"The good man has his enemies; he would not be like his Lord if he had not. If we were without enemies, we might fear that we were not the friends of God, for the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Yet see the quietude of the godly man in spite of and in the face of his enemies."
There was an old Roman custom, which may have prevailed even in David's time, which would shed light on this part of the psalm. When a soldier had won a victory and taken the enemy prisoners, a feast was made for him, and the captives were bound to the pillars of the banqueting-hall; and in their presence he was made to sit down and eat. This certainly may be realized in your experience and mine.
A man's foes are they of his own household, and our worst enemies are from within. With some it is temper; with others, pride; with still others, unholy thoughts; and with many, the disposition to actual outbreaking sin. But there is deliverance from all, and there may be so complete a submission to Christ that he, becoming the master of your life, will bind them all and cause you to feast in their presence.
Suggestions for To-day.
1. Open your eyes to the fact that you are not free from danger. Sin is not dead, and the old nature may be easily revived.
2. Remember that sin is mightier than your resolution or your will. Determination not to sin is not the secret of victory.
3. Put your whole life in the undisputed control of Christ. He is the secret of victory always and everywhere.
From The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations by J. Wilbur Chapman. Boston: United Society of Christian Endeavor, ©1899