In Psalm 23:5 we hear the words, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” David’s words depict a person receiving food and refreshment from one who can meet all of our needs.
God is the supplier, even when enemies are present. When Satan tempted Jesus he dared him to turn bricks into stone, taking charge of his own needs. Jesus knew that the power to make bread was available to him, but more importantly he knew that food would arrive from the Father at just the right time. His response was, “‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). When our Lord’s fasting came to a close, the angels cared for him. The Lord will care for us too.
God supplied food for His people when they were faced with the adversity of the wilderness. He sent manna (Exodus 16). In John 6 our Lord reminded people that this manna came not from Moses, but from God. He wanted his listeners to know that there is another kind of bread which God supplies. In John 6:35 we read, “Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” God offers a table of spiritual fellowship. Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). God seeks to be at a table fellowship with us for eternity.
We should come to the table God has prepared. Jesus said, “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’” (Matthew 11:28). We come to the Lord in worship, in prayer and in the reading of God’s Word. We may come burdened and anxious, but the invitation from Jesus leads us to rest and peace. Still, the decision to come remains with us. We choose to come, or not to come every day of our lives. We will choose to come, but God chooses what to serve. The extraordinary missionary Jim Elliot said, “God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with Him.”
When at God’s table, we remember that the custom of eastern countries was to anoint a guest with oil. The Psalmist tells us that what we have comes from God. He is the host and we are the guest. How does our Host anoint us? He refreshes us with the anointing of His Spirit. “…inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (II Corinthians 4:16).
Psalm 23:5 uses the expression, “my cup overflows.” Our lives with God provide us with abundance. We will lack nothing while in the care of the Good Shepherd. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). His supply is inexhaustible! The message we have to share with the world is that with God we will lack nothing. Our enemies will not prevent us from enjoying the table with him. God loves us so much that He provides for us under all circumstances. He is generous in all that He gives us. Let’s meet Him at His table!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.