Psalm 27:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows”
The shepherd prepares a table for His sheep even though they have strayed, having just come through the dark valley escaping death’s dark shadows. Instead of punishment there is grace. So often we stay away after we stray because we fear the Father yet we are greeted with a table not a trial. He prepares a table because this is not temporary, it’s not a picnic, it’s a time to sit and rest. Tables are more than just food they are fellowship, it’s an invitation to rest and relationship. Today people rarely sit down together to dine, we don’t feel like we have time because we have made it about food and consuming instead of friends and companionship. Tables allow us to rest from work and to relax from worry, so that we can enjoy others around the table. It is the shepherd who prepares the table, this isn’t an afterthought, it is planned out. The shepherd supplies us with more than just something to eat but someone to eat with. Why, because we need more than calories we need companionship. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9 He reminded them that they had a daily provider, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It is a daily provision, we have a bread maker not a warehouse of stale bread, His food is fresh. This preparing is not a one-time thing it is continuous action because we are continuously dependent on Him. This provision is personal but it is also a party where we get to celebrate Christ our shepherd. Why do we whine over God’s provision, He doesn’t prepare junk. What is your favorite meal? God gives us what is good, His best, Psalm 34:8 “taste and see that the Lord is good” Jesus said “I am the bread of life: he that comes to Me shall never hunger; and he that believes in Me shall never thirst” John 6:35. He does all this in the presence of our enemies, why, to show His goodness and grace, to show your enemies God’s care and provision and so that you will be reminded of your deliverance from a life of death. Because His provision always brings peace, they can see you but cannot touch you, to demonstrate that He is in control and has power even over the enemy. God’s table of provision is your testimony, your table tells others they can have one too. He anoints our head with oil, the word anoint is the Hebrew Old Testament word for Messiah or Deliverer, Christ is the Greek New Testament word. Anointing has a two-fold meaning, first to honor, a respected guest was given the best seat and honored with oil. Not just a place at the table but a privileged position one of honor. The second was to heal, we have just come from the valley of death, oil was used as medicine to revive and restore. In the midst of being revived and restored we find our cup running over. The Psalmist says “my” cup this is personal not “the” cup or “a” cup. This is “my” it is personal, the Shepherd wants to satisfy your thirst by giving you a drink from your own cup. The Shepherd does not offer us an empty cup and tell us to go and fill it up. He does not give us a half-filled cup and tell us when it’s gone He will give us the other half. He does not fill it to brim, no He fills it to over flowing, the law required exact fulfillment, but grace gives abundantly more. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that He “is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think” As sheep we often settle for a dab when God wants to burst the dam and flood our lives with His goodness and grace. God’s provision can’t be contained, it fills to overflowing. What is filling your life, God’s treasure or the world’s trash? Scripture reminds us that God longs to fill us with His:
Salvation “The cup of salvation” Psalm 116:13.
Satisfaction “Filled the hungry with good things” Luke 1:53.
Joy “Filled our hearts with . . . gladness” Acts 14:17.
Peace “Filled you with joy and peace” Romans 15:13.
Spirit “Be filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18.
Today are you resting in God’s provision or your own power, are you running on empty or being energized by His rest? Wherever you are today I invite you to pray psalm 23 with me again:
Lord because you are my Shepherd, I commit my needs to you. Provide green pasture for me to lie in and still waters to sooth my soul. Restore and refresh as You love me by leading me in right paths for Your name’s sake. Deliver me from danger as I walk through wickedness. Protect me with Your power and prepare a table to feed me so my enemies can see Your provision. Anoint me with the oil of Your healing as I drink from Your full cup of peace, secure in the knowledge that goodness and mercy will always follow me and I will live with You forever. Amen