Fresh Hope – 7th May 2020

‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.’

In continuing with our mini-study on Psalm 23, we are going to look at verse 5 today. 

When David speaks of a ‘table’, this represents food, feasting, blessing and provision. 

David, in the valley, envisioned that rich table before him. He knew God as his provider even in the darkest of valleys. 

It is so important for us as we walk through the valley, to have a vision, and rehearse the promises of God for our life. 

‘In the presence of my enemies’ – God isn’t there just when the enemies are gone, when the conflict is over, or when the virus is over. God is providing for you and wants you to enjoy His goodness IN THE MIDST of trouble, hardship, trials and ‘your enemies’. 

God’s goodness doesn’t mean the absence of enemies, in means IN the presence of enemies God’s blessings are manifest!

Are we able to enjoy the goodness of God NOW? Or are we waiting for everything to be perfect? 

‘You PREPARE a table’  – Preparation speaks of thought, effort, care, a going before us. God goes before us in provision and fulfilled promises, as we walk through the valley. 

‘You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over’ – In the east, people frequently anointed their visitors with oil or perfume and gave them a cup of choice wine, which would constantly be filled ‘until it ran over’. The overfilled cup showed that as long as they would abide in the presence of their host, they had an abundance of everything. This beautifully links with Verse 1 of Psalm 23 where David says, ‘I lack nothing’. As long as we are in the presence of our shepherd, all our needs are met, plus more. 

The anointing of oil was to show love and respect, and was also used as refreshment. Oil is symbolic of gladness. Even in the valley, you are anointed with gladness, you are refreshed, and loved! 

Oil is also used to protect. I recently discovered that shepherds actually use oil on a sheep’s head to protect them from a certain type of fly that can go through the sheep’s eye and into their brain!

What a powerful picture of how the oil of God covers our minds from those thoughts that attempt to take ground!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.