Scripture: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 ESV
Observation: Here, David shifts from the metaphor of a shepherd to that of the king’s table, where the honored guest is anointed with oil and served bountiful wine. It’s a picture of celebration and victory. Following Jewish tradition associated with a festivity, the host would offer his best to exalt honored guests. But David adds a surprising element: our enemies are present as well. Nevertheless, we need not be concerned because our cups overflow under the watchful eye of our king.
Takeaway: In the Gospels of Matthew (chapter 22) and Luke (chapter 14), Jesus tells parables of a bountiful heavenly feast/banquet that awaits his faithful followers. And in the Gospel of John (chapter 2), Jesus turns a vast volume of water into wine to bless a wedding celebration. So what can we deduce from our psalm and Jesus’ teachings and miracle? In him, we find abundant life (John 10:10), not devoid of conflict and trouble but one that overcomes the machinations of our enemies and is overflowing with his blessings.
Of course, our ultimate enemy is the accuser, Satan, who seeks to mar and destroy God’s image-bearers. So in this age between the Cross and Christ’s return, where the weeds grow amongst the wheat until the great and final harvest (The Parable of the Weeds, Matthew 24), we would do well to remember that nothing is outside of our King’s control. While he will allow those who knowingly or unwittingly serve the devil to draw near to us, our Savior who is present with us pours over us his bountiful blessings of joy, peace, and strength to aid us in rising above our adversaries. Indeed, our cups overflow under the watchful eye of our King.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that in your Son, our cups overflow with eternal blessings. Would you please help us draw near to you when our enemies draw near us, trusting in your sovereign provision and protection that will sustain us from this life to your heavenly celebration? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling