The Provision of the Shepherd (Psalm 23:5)
Psalm 23:5, Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Spiritually the table speaks of fellowship and communion. There are many references to feeding others. Here are a few:
• Joseph's feeding Israel (Genesis 43:34).
• Jesus' feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:19).
• The parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24).
• The marriage feast of the Bridegroom (Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:19).
1. God’s Provision is Anywhere. —" Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:"
God can supply our needs no matter where we are, church, Bible study, home, school, work, etc. The devil will try any way he can to discourage you from reading your Bible, from attending a Bible study, or attending church. During our VBS, the children began throwing small snack chips into the air. This caught the attention of a passing seagull flying in the air. Quickly, the bird swooped down and caught the snack in the air. Moments later numerous gulls were swarming across our property. This took place at the same time all week long. Although VBS ended on Friday, I noticed for the next week everyday around six o’clock the gulls would fly by waiting and expecting to be feed. So it is with people, they will go to a place and continue to show up if they are being fed.
2. God’s Provision is Affectionate. —"thou anointest my head with oil;"
Shepherds would often anoint the head of the sheep to keep the irritable insects from bugging the sheep. Sheep cannot lie contentedly if insects are swarming around their nostrils, ears or open wounds. It’s often the little irritations that rob us of our contentment. Contentment comes from walking with the Good Shepherd in the hard times of fear, conflict, and irritation.
Our Good Shepherd has given us the oil of the Spirit to keep irritations from bugging us. In the Bible, oil is often a picture of the Holy Spirit. In order for us to cope with the frustrating circumstances and people, the Lord sends us the fruit of His Holy Spirit. Here we have love, joy, peace, longsufffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
3. God’s Provision is Abundant. —"my cup runneth over."
The Lord has not only given me abundance of food, but He has filled my cup. The phrase “cup runneth over” means abundance. Picture a vessel overflow by being kept under a flowing fountain. Jesus is the fountain of living water. Picture in your mind: Pouring too much of a carbonated drink into a glass which causes it to run over. It was the responsibility of the host to keep the cup of their guest full at all times. If a cup was only half full it meant that he was liked very much. But if it was overflowing he was welcome and had access to his presence any time.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your promise of provision. Because You are my need, I will never lack for sustenance on my journey in this life. In Jesus Name AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.