"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever." (ASV)
This is the third and final installment of my posts on Psalm 23.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies" King David, who wrote this Psalm, knew plenty about having enemies. Throughout his life he accumulated many, and even had armies pursue him, bent on his destruction. Still, he never turned from God. God will care for us, no matter what is happening in our lives. Not only can He handle the "big stuff" like keeping David safe when people are out to kill him, but God also looks out for the "little needs" as well. Despite fleeing through the wilderness, David knew God would provide him food and a place to sleep.
"Thou hast anointed my head with oil" In Israel, kings were not crowned with gold and jewels, but rather with oil. This was a traditional way to show that someone or something bore divine influence. High priests and kings were annointed with perfumed oil, signifying that they were chosen by God. When David became King, he too was annointed with oil. "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of Jehovah came mightily upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." (1 Samuel 16:13 ASV)
"My cup runneth over." This is a phrase that is still in common use today. It describes someone having more than enough. God provides for us, not just enough to get us through the day, but more abundantly than we could ever ask or imagine. When Christ fed the multitudes on the shores of Galilee, he didn't provide simply enough that everyone would be satisfied. "And they all ate, and were filled: and they took up that which remained over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full." (Matthew 14:20 ASV)
"Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life" Once we are in God's favor, we know that He will never leave us. We can look forward to His provision not just for today or tomorrow, but for the rest of our lives, and wherever we may find ourselves.
"And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever." Not only do we know that God has provided for us here on earth, but we also can look forward to our place in His eternal kingdom. "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2 ASV)