December 14 2022
Today, Wednesday December 14
“My Cup Runs Over”
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
I trust and pray that you have enjoyed and been blessed in studying through this Psalm as much as I have. It is amazing that I have read and preached through this beautiful passage hundreds of times and yet this time has really been special, and I have seen so much more in it than ever before. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this devotional chat with me. By the way! Today marks the 1,000th consecutive daily chat since March 2020! Praise the LORD! (Except for two days when I was in the hospital last year.)
In Psalm 22, we experienced the Good Shepherd Who gave His life for the sheep (John 10). In Psalm 23, we have been comforted and encouraged by the Great Shepherd Who lives and Who cares for His sheep and equips them for ministry (Heb. 13:20-21). He is our "great High Priest" (Heb. 4:14) who "ever lives to make intercession for us" (Heb. 7:25).
As we look at these last two verses, we are reminded that the Christian life is not a bed of roses and a life of ease. Even though we are wholeheartedly following our Great Shepherd does not mean we will not encounter trials and tribulation. But we can be assured that the Lord Jesus Christ is prepared this special place, this table, and will be there to take care of our enemies.
The word "Table" doesn't necessarily refer to a piece of furniture used by humans, for the word simply means "something spread out." Flat places in the hilly country were called "tables" and sometimes the shepherd stopped the flock at these "tables" and allowed them to eat and rest as they headed for the fold (Psalm 78:19).
These “spread out table lands” were usually in the highlands that had the best green pastures for the sheep. But they we also the place where the predators were numerous and determined to destroy and devour the flock.
I couldn’t help but think of 1 Peter 5, which I hope you will take time to read and think about in its entirety, which will give you great insight into understanding these two verses and how they apply to us as we are serving the Lord. Notice especially how that Peter tells the elders to be good shepherds of the “flock of God” (v. 2). Then Peter goes to say in verses 7-11: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
The “tablelands” with the green pastures were also sometimes called “the fly lands” because of the numerous insects and parasites that would afflict the flock and keep them from feeding. So the shepherd would anoint the head of the sheep with oil to heal the sores from the bites and protect them from more bites. How does this apply to us today?
The Lord Jesus Christ has sent and anointed us with the “Oil of God”, the Holy Spirit. He fills our heads, our hearts and our minds with the truths of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit gives us the “mind of Christ” as we face our adversary the devil and his attempts to “devour” us. As we respond in faith and “cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us”, our cup runs over with joy, with peace, with contentment, with confidence, and with the very presence of the Lord. Everyone around us notices and sees this, and the outflow of the Holy Spirit from our lives blesses them.
Notice how Romans 8:36-37 gives us this same assurance: “As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Is your cup running over today?