Psalm 23 Study Session V
In this week’s Psalm 23 study we reflect on verse 5: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
Can you imagine what God’s table must look like? No doubt it’s an abundant feast of His love, faithfulness, mercy and compassion.
Today, His banquet is prepared and it’s time to take our seat.
Looking around, we realize we aren’t alone. We have an audience and quickly notice it’s not friends or family but our enemies instead.
The naysayers, our fears, shame, our past, failures, guilt, the haters, two-faced friends and those who label, condemn, judge or criticize us are all watching maybe even wondering how it is our appetite hasn’t been affected by their presence.
Fear has not killed our desire for God and our enemies are witnessing us savor every morsel of His goodness.
And Satan himself our “accuser” watches as well seething as we satisfy our hunger at the Lord’s table. Rev 12:10
David said “The afflicted will eat and be satisfied . . .” Ps 22:26
God isn’t serving a handful of crumbs for us to survive on but an overflowing feast to nourish, satisfy and fill our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.
Our enemies try to convince us we are only worthy to eat leftovers but God deems us deserving of a feast. And so we eat freely and without condemnation.
God not only feeds us but He anoints our heads with oil.
David was a shepherd and pouring the oil on the sheep was vital to their well-being. Why?
In summer’s heat, flies begin buzzing around a sheep’s head hoping to lay their eggs in the sheep’s nose. This annoyance can cause the sheep to panic and begin running wildly which can result in injury or death.
Should the fly succeed and its larvae hatch in the sheep’s nose, it causes infection and unbearable pain. The sheep will then rub, thrash or bang its head on a tree to get rid of the inflammation. An untreated infection can cause a sheep to go blind.
When we are going through difficult times, God anoints our head with oil. Why?
Because without His protective coating of peace, difficult circumstances and our enemies will infect our minds with worry and fear until we are thrashing about in doubt and unbelief.
Without the oil we would go blind, sinking into depression and hopelessness.
In David’s day, the shepherd would stand watch and at the first indication of the flies he would pour the natural oil repellent on the sheep’s head to protect them from this annoying enemy.
God neither sleeps or slumbers and is always watching, waiting and ready to protect us from our enemies immediately before they have an opportunity to harm us. Ps 121:1
Finally, a shepherd would also coat the sheep’s head in oil to prevent a parasitic condition known as scab disease. The oil kills the parasite and prevents the spread of the disease among the rest of the sheep.
The Shepherd’s anointing oil kills the enemies lies and every destructive force aimed at destroying our hope, faith and trust in our Father and also protects us from those infected with negativity.
Life always reflects the mindset and an inflamed, irritated mind will always create an inflamed, irritated life.
But with God’s anointing of the oil, our minds resist infection from other’s diseased, toxic minds or our own discouraging circumstances.
And while other sheep are banging their heads against the wall trying to maintain their sanity, we are living in peace, covered and protected with the oil of joy.
We dine at God’s table. We are protected with His anointing oil. And we drink from an overflowing cup.
Because the Lord is our Shepherd, our cup will never run dry.
It is never empty, half full or even filled to the rim.
It OVERFLOWS with His blessings, grace, abundance, mercy, forgiveness, love, faithfulness, protection, provision, guidance, comfort and healing.
Today we allow God to feed us from His table, anoint us with His oil and pour His blessings into our cup until it overflows!
1. What more does God’s Word say about our minds? Read: Rom 12:2 – I Pet 1:13 – Phil 4:8
2. God’s anointing oil not only protects us from the enemy but fills us with joy. Read: Isa 61:3
3. The Shepherd’s cup is filled with nourishment and abundance. Read Ps 16: 5-6 & Ps 116:13