New Living Translation
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
You give me bread
You give me fish
You give me food that I can call my own preparation of a meal to feed me when I have nothing in front of those who hate and scorn me.
You bless me in abundance of blessings overflowing by blessing me with oil of many blessings I can not name them all
Surely your good honor and numerous unfailing love will follow me all the days that lay in my plan of my life and God will prepare me a place in the house of the Lord forever in honoring me with Love and as his child forever.
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR OCTOBER 19TH
Worship In The Wilderness
READ THE SCRIPTURE: PSALM 23:5-6
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
In verses 5 and 6 David changes the metaphor a bit–from the good shepherd to the gracious host. Jehovah spreads a sumptuous meal before him, a great banquet, in the presence of his enemies. This figure encompasses all the figures David has used before. That God feeds and provides, leads and protects, is all bound up in this symbol of a gracious host.
Interestingly enough, this figure grows right out of the historical situation in which David wrote. When David was driven into the wilderness by his son’s rebellion, he found himself out in the desert, hungry and weary, his army in disarray. As recorded in 2 Samuel 17, three men who were not even Israelites, Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai “brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from cows’ milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, ‘The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert’”(2 Samuel 17:28-29).
David saw in this that God, as a gracious host, was preparing a table before him in the presence of his enemies. Paul said it this way: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
A final note is that the word follow in verse 6 literally means “pursue.” David says that God’s goodness and mercy shall pursue him, in contrast to his enemies’ pursuit to dethrone and destroy him. David’s desire was to go back to the tabernacle and to worship there. God’s mercy and kindness ought to evoke the same response from us. We worship not in a tabernacle, but, as Jesus said, “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). We worship in the inner man, where God dwells. When we see that the Good Shepherd does feed us and does lead us and does protect us, our response ought to be worship–a recognition of all that Jehovah is, a word of thanks for what He has done, and the statement, “Here is more of myself for You to put to Your intended purpose.” That is true worship.
Father, You are the Good Shepherd. You are utterly trustworthy. You feed me, lead me, guard me, and protect me. I surrender myself to You in grateful worship.
God offers to treat us as guests at His table! He lavishes His love on us sinners. Are we resisting that astounding love, and failing to worship Him with our lives?
Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.
What Does Psalm 23:5 Mean? ►
What does Psalm 23:5 mean?
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
In this psalm, we see a beautiful portrait of God, as our good and faithful shepherd, Who leads us by still waters and guides us into the way of peace. He is indeed, worthy of our worship and praise. He is the One Who upholds and protects; Who blesses and comforts, Who bountifully provides good things for us, in the presence of our enemies. And He is the One Who intercedes for us in heavenly places.
The picture that is painted, in this well-loved psalm of David, is that of our faithful God, our merciful and gracious Saviour – our good and caring Shepherd, Who keeps us, protects us and provides for us, through all the changing scenes of life.
Our merciful God first identified Himself as ‘Jehovah-Jirah’, our gracious Provider, to Abraham.. when he was halted, by the Lord, from offering-up his son, Isaac, as his sacrifice of love and obedience. And throughout both testaments, we discover God as the One Who provides rain for the earth, nourishment for the ravens, a father for the fatherless and a righteous judge for the widow.
Our faithful God is the one who fed the hungry multitude, provides comfort for the broken-hearted, gives succour to the weak, strength to the weary, hope to the afflicted and salvation to all who trust in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins – for while we were yet sinners, God in His grace provided a kinsman-Redeemer, to save His people from their sins.
Our good and loving God supplies all our needs, according to His riches in glory, through Christ Jesus our Saviour. And here in this well-loved and oft repeated psalm of David, we discover.. the Lord has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies. The good Shepherd of the sheep has anointed our head with oil, and our cup of blessing overflows with His goodness and love.
Though we may be afflicted on all sides.. pressured, perplexed and persecuted for righteousness sake, we have not been forgotten or abandoned by our heavenly Lord.. for Jesus is with us always and forever, even to the end of the age. He has prepared a table before us, in the presence of those that hate and despise us, and He has covered it with all we need and every spiritual blessing – which He purchased for us through His own blood, on Calvary’s cross.
Though we live in the war-zone of this fallen, world system, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.. and the peace of God, which guards our hearts, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
The anointing oil that is poured over our heads is the soothing ointment of His never-ending love. It is a precious promise to all His children, for we have been made a kings and priests of the living God – and have a guarantee that His word is true and His promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ in Christ.
Surely with David we can proclaim.. my cup of blessing runneth over, for His grace is limitless, His love is boundless and His mercy endures from one generation to another.
This verse may describe a gracious host as he provides a banquet for an honored guest, or it may continue the metaphor of the shepherd-sheep relationship. If it refers to a host preparing a banquet, David views himself as the Lord’s honored guest with David’s enemies present as captive onlookers.
If it refers to a shepherd-sheep relationship, David compares the Lord’s generosity to that of a shepherd who generously prepares a feast for his sheep, spreading the food on a table or trough. As the sheep slept, they were protected by a circular stone wall and the shepherd who slept across the opening. Jesus identified Himself as the door to the sheepfold (John 10:7–9).
A gracious host would anoint his guest by applying a soothing oil to the guest’s head. A shepherd would use oil to treat his sheep’s wounds. David may have been thinking about the Lord as his host or shepherd when he wrote, “you anoint my head with oil” (Psalm 23:5). The cup David depicts as overflowing may refer to the brimming cup the host provided or to the large cup a shepherd used to give water to thirsty sheep. Either interpretation leads to the conclusion that the Lord provides for us more generously than the heart can desire.
Psalm 23:4–6 shifts in mood from the tranquility portrayed in verses 1–3. It is a somber passage, but carries the assurance that the Lord protects His sheep and fills their days with His blessings. This passage differs from the first three verses by addressing the Lord, David’s shepherd, directly. In verses 1–3 David talks about the Lord, but in verses 4–6 he talks to the Lord.
David celebrates the protection and guidance of God. Sheep guarded by a skilled shepherd are led to food and water, and protected from harm. In the same way, David praises God for giving him peace. The knowledge of God’s protection and provision are a great comfort. This psalm incorporates themes of supply, defense, assurance, and care from God