Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 23:5
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.”- Psalm 23:5
This verse is a picture of God’s provision for His people in difficult times. A good man has enemies. There is no question of that, just like Jesus had enemies. Yet here, what we see is David declaring peace in the midst of his enemies. This is something that is totally different than how we see things. Let us look at this a moment. Normally, when a soldier is in the presence of his enemies, if he eats at all he snatches a hasty meal, and away he hastens to the fight. He quickly swallows it so that it will get him through the battle until he can have a more complete meal.
However, notice the wording here. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. Psalm 23:5a. David is saying that just as a servant lays out the table with a fancy cloth and then puts the feast on this table as in a time of peace, so does He present a table for David where his enemies see it. Nothing is hurried or rushed, and there is no confusion. There is nothing to disturb the meal, even though the enemy is at the gate and sees everything. God prepares a table for us and we as God’s children can sit and eat as if everything were in perfect peace. And what a peace He gives us, that even in the midst of the most trying times and circumstances. Isaiah puts it this way, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4. When we trust God completely, and our minds are focused on Him and not our trials, then He will keep us in perfect peace. It does not matter what is going on or if we are troubled by our enemies, for He will take care of us. God will provide our needs in ways we could never imagine. We have no reason to fear, for God is always with us and will protect us. And He will bless us in situations that seem impossible for any good to come from it.
The last part of this psalm is, “You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5b. There are several meanings to the anointing of the head with oil, however, the one that makes the most sense to me is the idea of the oil of gladness as shown in Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3. Because of the goodness of our God, even in difficult times, He will anoint us with the oil of gladness. Because of this, we will not mourn during this time, but trust God that He has this. And the peace of God and His incredible provisions will not just fill our cup but will overflow due to the overabundance of His goodness. And again, our enemies will see this and be amazed at what they see.
This chapter shows the amazing provisions He provides us, especially during difficult times when our enemies are within view and are watching us. We have nothing to fear when we put our trust in the Lord our God, for even at times when things look the worst, He will bring us through. Always remember this, God is greater than our problems and will work on our behalf to take care of us. Trust Him in all things, for remember what Moses said, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.