The Table Is Full! You Are Invited To Eat

Rest, relaxation, and a good meal. What more can you want?

by Lura Langenback

© August 15, 2000

Psalms 23:5

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."

Up to now, we have seen that the whole Psalm has centered around peace, rest, and safety. Nothing changes in this verse. The Shepherd walked with us through the valley of the shadow of death. He led the way up to this table.

Once again, picture this with me. You have walked through the valley and dark places with the Shepherd leading the way. Coming through the woods, there appears to be an oasis ahead. The Light is brilliant. This wonderful place has a beautifully set table with all types of your favorite foods and drinks. No matter how fearful you were, now it is quite peaceful. Despite the fact that you know there are wild animals all around, enemies hunting you down, and the darkness holds much fear, still you know not to be afraid. The Shepherd has prepared this time of rest for you. He has placed a table in front of you so that you can have a meal, even with danger all around. The assurance is that, no matter what the fear, no matter the problem, the Lord is with you. He is a constant in your life, even if you are not consistent with Him. Think for a moment what it would be like to be in the midst of a hurricane. Right smack in the middle is the eye of the storm. Have you ever been there? I have. It is so peaceful that you wonder how such a storm could possibly be raging around you. More often than not, you let your guard down during a meal, become more relaxed then. Can you feel the peace in this scene?

The next part of the verse talks about anointing your head with oil. Unless you know the history there, it does not make much sense. In the hotter climates, such as the desert places, the custom is to put oil on the body to prevent excessive perspiration. Usually mixed with perfume, it gives a truly delightful, refreshing, invigorating feeling. Athletes would anoint their bodies before a race. Throughout the scriptures, we see the anointing of the oil of the Holy Spirit. The picture is of refreshment, not only physical, but also mental and spiritual, as well. How do I know this? Because the whole scene is about relaxing, refreshing, renewing. When you are relaxing in whatever manner you chose, you are allowing yourself to let go of the problems and worries of the day. Restoration of the spirit, soul, and body come.

You're enjoying your meal when you notice that regardless of how much you drink, your cup never seems to go down. It is always so full that it runs over the top. I am quite sure almost everyone gets the idea that this is the bottomless cup. Years ago, restaurants used to charge for one cup of coffee but you could have as much as you wanted. The Lord's cup is bigger! From His point of view, the cup represents giving to you a neverending supply. I see that as such a beautiful thing. God's grace and love are a free gift, a bottomless cup that overflows.

So, exactly what does all of this mean to me and to you? Looking at the full picture so far, we have protection in the form of the Lord Jesus Who is the Shepherd. We have peacefulness, rest, renewing of spirit, mind, and body. Relaxation. Of course, we can not forget the meal and drink that never go away. The anointing of the oil on the body is for refreshment and restoration since the fluids are less likely to leave as quickly. The picture is quite breathtaking after all. But still, what does it mean? Taken as a whole, not only is the Lord involved in your life, He is also caring for long as you want Him to, that is. Spiritually, each thing is a symbol of what the Lord does for all of us. We are to give Him our concerns, worries, cares. He will walk with us through whatever it is we are going through at the time.

This does not mean that He will 'get you out' of things that you put yourself into through sin but He will help you get past the problem. His Grace is never-ending, His love everlasting, His peace is not of this world. When you get ahold of that fact, you learn that you have already won!

Click here for verse 4 of the study of Psalm 23.

Click here for verse 6 of the study on Psalm 23.

Click Here for more articles on Psalm 23

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