“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5
Dear Faithful Seed-Sowers, and Lovers of GOD:
It is my prayer that as we go through this world-wide pandemic, with it’s shutdowns, slowdowns and stay-at-home times, that we will come to know one thing: our Good Shepherd will never leave nor forsake us. Are you having a difficult day? Pick up your bible and read Psalm 23, turn on a Christian radio station. PRAISING GOD will lift your heart, mind and spirit! In our home I say, “Alexa, play Christian piano music.” It’s the background music for most of my day.
We have been in Psalm 23 for weeks now! I think it is providential that we are walking with Good Shepherd during this season of life. Last week, we took a few minutes to look at the first part of verse five. Today we study and learn that our Good Shepherd wants to anoint our heads with oil and have our cup overflow.
Hear the Good News! Hear or read the promises in the LIVING WORD that God has promised us repeatedly. As I have reflect on this passage, I have asked myself a few so what questions — maybe they are for you too!
Why do we settle for little chunks of dog food when there is a great and grand Feast prepared for us?
How often do we hold ourselves back from experiencing the wonderful, amazing, and life-changing love of Christ? Why? Why do we hold back?
Have you ever thought about these things?
Have you ever stopped to ponder this part of verse five?
“You anoint my head with oil.”
I wonder if many of us miss out on the great banquet table of the Lord because we do not know, understand, or are afraid of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “In ancient Israel shepherds used oil for three purposes: to repel insects, to prevent conflicts, and to heal wounds.” Jesus gives us wonderful promises of the work and power of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John during the Upper Room Discourse found in chapters 14 through 17. The promise of the Holy Spirit is that He will anoint us with His power. The moment that we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the moment you say that you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes into us to dwell within us. We are sealed with this anointing. Have you ever tried to unseal a coat of wax from a freshly sealed floor? How hard would it be to unseal a freshly heated road of blacktop? The word (bible) tells us that we are anointed with the Holy Spirit. It is this promised Holy Spirit who comes to comfort us, convict us, and guide us into all truth. The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is a gentleman and anoints us with grace to live in the present, to reconcile our past and to hope for our future. If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit has come in to dwell within you and will guide you. My prayer is that each one of us reading this message has been anointed with the gift and the person of the Holy Spirit. If so, you have Spiritual Gifts that are important to the body of Christ. (You may not know what you Spiritual Gifts are! Our website has a FREE Spiritual Gifts test on our website … www.theseedchristianfellowship.com Go to the website and take your Spiritual Gift test.)
It’s true: You have been anointed by the Spirit of God. I love to think of the Holy Spirit as the spiritual identical twin of Jesus, that is comforting to me. May this holy anointing help you to repel the enemies of your soul. May this holy anointing help you to prevent conflicts in your life. May this holy anointing heal your wounds. A simple prayer you can pray every morning or at any time … “Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your love. Guide me and teach me. Give me wisdom and understanding for today. Amen”
Let us look at this portion of this verse in Psalm 23, “my cup overflows.”
Not only is the table spread for us in the presence of our enemies, not only does the Holy Spirit anoint us with the oil of gladness to guide us, comfort us and convict us but the final promise of verse five is that we will be blessed with an overflowing cup. In the Sacrament of Communion, we are reminded of the cup of redemption that was poured out in the blood of Christ during his crucifixion. “This cup is the cup of the new covenant poured out in my blood for the forgiveness of sin.”
Did you hear it, can I comprehend this?
This overflowing cup is the cup of forgiveness!
We are told to remember this every time we drink from the cup. We are made one (that is atonement—at one-ment) with God through the sacrifice of the Great Shepherd of the sheep who laid down His life. This atonement (our at one-ment) takes care of our past, present, and future sin. I believe that if you could grasp, comprehend, come to understand the idea that our cup of life is full and overflowing, that your life would change. May your cup overflow this day.
Maybe the so what question today is “How do you see your cup?” Is your cup half full or half empty! Is your cup overflowing so much that you are drinking from the saucer? Truth is: your cup of life is overflowing with forgiveness. Forgiveness of sin! Forgiveness that will overflow into the lives of our enemies as we forgive them as Christ has forgiven us. I believe if we learn to live in the forgiveness of the overflowing cup for us then we will learn to become more and more forgiving of others, and we will learn to live as forgiven people.
Our cup overflows with unfailing, unending, and everlasting love. God has loved us before we were created, and God will continue to love us throughout all eternity. God’s love never end. and never fails. My prayer today that you will come to comprehend and, hold deeply in your heart, this overflowing cup that the Good Shepherd offers you. If we would see this overflowing cup extended into our lives, we would be totally and radically changed. We would live our lives with a fresh kingdom view. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been made ONE with God. Christ’s blood has filled our cup to overflowing.
So what do these ancient words written over two thousand years ago have do with us today? Since we didn’t grow up in ancient Israel, and since most of us didn’t grow up on a sheep farm, we really don’t know much about sheep. We don’t understand about being a shepherd. My guess is that we know a lot about computers, engineering, and education, but not about sheep. The idea of sharing a meal is largely lost in our western culture. In the day of David and Jesus when you were invited to share a meal, it was an invitation to dinner. Their saying was “mikdash me-at” which literally translates into“come into my miniature sanctuary, my dining room and we will celebrate the most beautiful experience that life affords — it is called friendship.”[ii] The invitation from the Great Shepherd is for each one of us to become friends, to come into the miniature sanctuary and sit at the banquet table prepared for us. It is the wedding feast of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and this Great Shepherd anoints us with the power, comfort, and grace of the Holy Spirit. Best of all, there is a chair reserved just for you with your name written on it!
I am reminded of my little grandson so many years ago who wanted to play in the dog’s bowl. Friends, we have so much more prepared for us. Our Great Shepherd has painstakingly prepared a banquet table for each one us in the presence of our enemies. Will you come to the table each day and allow the Holy Spirit to anoint you? Our cup will surely overflow with forgiveness—for Christ has nailed our sin to His cross. Our debt is paid and we are forgiven. It is our turn now to begin living as a forgiven person.
There is an old hymn called “Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us”. It is my prayer that we will allow our shepherd to lead us through the valleys of our life to the banquet table, the mikdash me-at, the miniature sanctuary of friendship with God. God has provided for us in our past. God is providing for us today and God will provide for us in the future.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
My closing prayer is verse two of our closing hymn.
“Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou has mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse us, and power to free us:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Early let us return to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Early let us return to Thee.” [iii]
Join us this Sunday online at 10 A.M. for our live interactive worship service. You can chat with others and send your prayer concerns. the link for the live online service is theseedchristianfellowship.online.chuch
If you miss the live online service, you can always go and watch the whole service or just the message (hint) on our YouTube channel at The Seed Christian Fellowship.
I have a friend who always tells me, “I’m so blessed, Dave, that I’m drinking from my saucer.” That, my friend, is my prayer for YOU!
God Loves you and so do I,