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40 Days of Hope
Thursday, April 4
The Cup Overflows
Scholars disagree about the setting for Psalm 23:5. Is David referring to how a shepherd prepares provision in the tablelands of the mountainous region of Palestine? Or, is he referring to a banquet feast where God is presiding as the host? I’ll admit—I’m not sure. There are arguments on both sides of this issue.
The point seems to be the same. Whether the imagery is a banquet or a plateaued meadow in the mountains, the truth of God’s personal provision is prevalent. God is a personal God who pays attention to each sheep. He is paying specific attention to the needs of the entire flock.
I love the image of God anointing our heads with oil. For a shepherd, this was a time of personal attention given to each sheep. The shepherd would inspect the individual sheep for any parasites or infections. He would place the medicinal oil on the head of each member of the sheepfold.
If this were a host, then the meaning is very similar. The host is blessing and honoring each guest. It was not necessarily a time of inspection for disease or parasites. Rather, it was a ritual of honor for guests. The host would be paying special attention to each guest with the gift of anointing oil.
Notice, God provides this special and personal attention in the presence of our enemies! We can rest, eat, and receive God’s personal ministry --- even when our enemies are present. We would probably rather the enemies be dispersed! But God will care for us even when threats remain and challenges persist.
Finally, notice the last phrase of verse 5: Our cup overflows. Our God is a God of abundance. He doesn’t just barely meet our needs. He is not a God whose resources have been depleted. He is a God of resource. When He cares for us, our cup actually overflows!
Remember, that God is paying personal attention to your life. He is not surprised by anything you encounter. He is there every step of the way. He will set a table for you when you least expect it. His loving touch will be felt on your head. His power is made perfect in our weakest moments. He can be trusted. Stay hopeful!
Think of times in your past when God provided for you in the face of challenging circumstances. Share a testimony about His provision with someone today.