Psalms 23 Part 5

Psalm 23:1-6

  1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
  3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
  4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
  6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

We have looked at the first four verses, today I want to look at verse 5. David wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

When I look at verse five I could very easily do three entries from this passage. David combines 3 separate thoughts into verse 5.

The first thought is …

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. The message translates it this way, “You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.”

When we look at this first thought of verse five we need to look specifically at 3 words. They are Prepare, table and enemies.

The word prepare in the Hebrew means to “arrange, to “set in order”, to “furnish”, to “ordain”, to “lay” or to “set in a row”.  The English meaning of the word “ordain” is to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law.

The word table is the Hebrew word Shuehan which means spread which implies a meal. God chooses to prepare a meal or feast for us, right in front of our enemies.

The word enemies means “adversary, be in affliction, besiege, bind up, be in distress, enemy, oppress, pangs, to be in a straight (trouble)”.  So, the word enemy does not just mean a singular force that is against me, like Satan.  It’s much more than that, it’s simpler and more applicable to our lives.  It is distress, pangs of trouble, oppression, affliction.

So think about this… In the midst of great trouble and distress and affliction, in an orderly way, God lays-out and organizes a long table of provision and sustenance for each of us. That is how much God loves and cares for us.

The second thought is you anoint my head with oil.

In most Pentecostal circles when you think of anointing the head with oil you think of praying for the sick. James 5:14 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

The shepherd used oil for different reasons. The sheep had many enemies that would fly around its head. The shepherd would rub oil on the sheep’s head and it would make the different flying insects leave the sheep alone.

When the Lord anoints my head with oil, I believe that God is preparing our minds for His word or if you are being attacked by the enemy, the first place the enemy attacks is your mind. If the enemy can get your mind to wonder, he can destroy your life. All sin begins in the mind, whether you are thinking about doing something or you don’t take the time to think.

We have to protect the mind. Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation…” We have to protect our mind. The enemy will attack your mind. Lust begins in the mind. Suicide begins in the mind. Hate crimes begin in the mind. And I could go on and on. We need God to anoint our heads with oil.

The third thought in verse five is…

My cup runs over. The cup that runneth over is not only full – it is over-full. He who drinks from this cup need not worry in any way about being nurtured for he is blessed with excess, with abundance. The metaphor is clear. If we “seek . . . first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” than we shall not want in any way. Our trust in God – as absolute and uncompromised as we can make it – is all that we need attend to.

God’s desire is the best for all of us. He wants nothing but the best. His desire is that we are blessed. He has many blessings for us. A verse that I read every week is Malachi 3:10. It says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

God says, the blessings I have for you are endless if you will obey me.

David wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemy, you anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.”

Psalms 23 Part 4

Read Psalm 23:1-6

  1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
  3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
  4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
  6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Now, let’s look closer at verse 4. It says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Think about this for a moment. The Lord, our shepherd, feeds us in the pasture, He leads us on the trail, and accompanies us into the dark ravine where unknown danger lurks. After He has made us to lie down in green pastures and He has quenched our thirst with streams of water and He has restored us and led us in the paths of righteousness for Him. Remember we represent Him. Also know this, we are going to go through some dark times in our life.

We might get bad news about a loved one. We might get bad news about our health. We might get bad news about our job. We are going to feel like we are in a dark place. David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” He walks with us through the valley.

Think about this, the longest shadows are cast in the late afternoon even as the heaviest tests often come at life’s sunset—it is during that time that we must go through “the valley of the shadow of death”. If you are a wise person by that time you will have chosen your Shepherd.

On the narrow trail, the shepherd “led,” but in the most difficult hour of all He is alongside: “you are with me.” In trials, friends and family can only accompany us so far… and then we are alone. But He will never leave us.

Look at Hebrews 13:5. It says, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I can remember times when I felt so alone that no one understood what I was going through. God reminded me that He was with me. I can remember some dark times in my life when there seemed to be no one to cry out to, but God was there to hear my cry.

When we are walking through the valley He is there with His rod to protect us from attack, and His shepherd’s staff reaches out and pulls us near when fears come our way. And when we make it through the valley He is there as well, waiting.

Think about all the saints in the Bible that faced trials in their life. How did they make it through those trials? It was with God walking by their side. Think of the Old Testament heroes… Abraham when he went to sacrifice his only son, it was God that provided the sacrifice. What about Jacob when he went to meet his brother for the first time after he had stolen his birthright, it was God that brought forgiveness between the two brothers. What about Joseph when he was thrown in the pit by his brothers and later sold to slavery, it was God that placed him in the palace as governor of Egypt. What about Daniel when he was placed in the lion’s den, it was God that closed the mouth of the lions. What about the three Hebrew Children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace, it was God that kept them from burning up in the fire.

Think about all the times that Peter, Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke, Mark, John, and all the other disciples spent in jail because they preached Jesus, it was God that brought them through those valleys. We are going to face valley’s, but it is God that will take us through those valleys.

David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23 Part 3

Psalm 23:1-6

  1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
  3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
  4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
  6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

We know that the Lord is our shepherd. With Him in our life there’s not anything that we want for. We also know that He makes us to lie down in green pastures and He leads us beside the still waters. Verse 3 says, “He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

When you think about what David has written here we can get an interesting picture. Yes, the Lord who is our shepherd makes us to lie down in green pastures, but do you think he wants us to stay there. Do you think that once we have laid down that the Lord won’t ever want us to go anywhere else? The answer to that question is no, absolutely not! We have to go somewhere in order for us to fulfill the Great Commission that God has called us to.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,”. If all we ever do is sit around and soak in what God wants to give us then we never complete what God has for us.

God has greatness for us that we have to embrace. If we let the things that can get us down, keep us down, then we will never do what God wants for us. It is important for us to lie down in green pastures, let Him lead us beside the still waters and restore us to where we need to be, in order for us to accomplish all that God has for us.

Have you received any bad news for your life lately? Have you gotten a bad report from the doctor? Have you been called into the boss’s office to find out you no longer have a job? Have you had an argument with someone that you love? Whatever the problem is, Jesus can restore you. There will be times that we need to be made to lie down in green pastures, so that the shepherd can restore us.

Though the green pastures nourish, the Lord does not want us to lie around the rest of our lives. When we have gained strength, he leads us out from the pasture onto the trail of life, the “paths of righteousness”. It is during this time that we can testify of how God brought us out of our low time. We are walking the “paths of righteousness.”

My walk is for “His name’s sake.” He causes me to stay on a straight path, a narrow, grooved trail of right rather than wrong, obedience rather than rebellion, service rather than self-absorption, discipline rather than impulse, and cross-bearing rather than indulgence. We know the distinction of this because John 10:4 tells us, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

We are His sheep, therefore when we walk through life, we represent the father. He leads us in the paths of righteousness. As He leads and we follow His leading, everything that we do should lead others to the good shepherd.

Are you walking in the paths of righteousness? Then testify. Don’t stay in the green pastures. Fulfill the purpose that God has called you to. David wrote, “He restores my soul, He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”