Thankfulness According to Psalm 23 ~ the Table, the Oil, and the Cup

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” ~Psalms 23:5

I used to be confused as to what David meant about this table.
Why would God make him sit down and eat, knowing his enemies were watching him?
I just didn’t get it….until I got it.

When we sit down for a meal at home or among friends, we relax.
We feel safe, happy, and comfortable.

That’s what he was saying here:
My Shepherd takes such good care of me, I can rest and relax in the knowledge that even though my enemies are watching with intent to do me harm, my Shepherd won’t let them touch me. I’m more safe and secure here with Him than I would be away from my enemies and alone.

Only our Good Shepherd can create this response in situations such as these.

“Thou anointest my head with oil.”

Oil has several purposes and uses in the Word of God, but there are 2 that stick out in my mind:
1. to show that one has been called of God for a special royal purpose
2. to heal wounds

By this point, David had already been anointed to be King of Israel.
Samuel had anointed him as a young man.

He knew what it was like to have that oil poured over his head.

In that moment, he knew he would one day be king.
His life, his destiny changed in that instant.
Up until that point, his plans may have been to grow up and just continue being a shepherd. He’d get his own sheep and keep doing what he knew how to do.
But the oil changed everything.

Have you been set aside by God for a special purpose?
Is there a defining moment you can look back on and see that all the plans you may have had for your life no longer mattered because God stepped on the scene?
Have you been taken from your ordinary life and made royalty?

If you are a child of God and being led by the Shepherd, you know the significance of this oil, this moment, this anointing.

It was also used when one was wounded.
David had no doubt experienced this use of the oil as well.

He was a solider.
A captain.
He led the army of Israel into battle on countless occasions.
When he was injured, I’m sure he felt the healing properties of this oil.

Have you ever returned from the heat of battle injured, bleeding, and weary, only to have God pour oil on your wounds and bind them up?
Have you ever had an enemy (or maybe even a friend) inflict a wound so deep, you wonder if it would ever heal…and the Good Shepherd come to where you are, anoint it with oil, and give you the ability to continue on?

He’s called the Balm of Gilead for reason.
He specializes in binding up wounds and healing hurts.
That oil is a precious thing.

“My cup runneth over.”

Looking back from verse one until now, this is what David cries.
He sees everything his Shepherd has done for him, and the best way he can express the joy and peace and love in his heart is to simply say, “My cup runneth over.”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.

Can you look back at the blessings God has given and make this statement?
Has the Lord so filled your cup with good things that it is full and running over?

I can only speak for myself, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s the same for you.
Take a few moments and reflect on the things God has done, what He has given, and who He is.
I firmly believe our hearts can make this same cry.

This is the anthem of the thankful.

“My cup runneth over.”


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