Preface: This week, join me as we experience God’s love through His Word. We’ll use Psalm 23 as our text, taking one verse each day and spending a little time considering what it means to be loved by God.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
(Psalm 23:5 NIV – New International Version)
You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows.
(Psalm 23:5 CEV – Contemporary English Version)
You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!
(Psalm 23:5 TLB – The Living Bible)
You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.
(Psalm 23:5 GNT – Good News Translation)
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
(Psalm 23:5 KJV – King James Version)
As we consider today’s verse, we see the continuation of God’s love from the previous verses:
- The care of God’s love as He provides rest for body and soul (v. 2)
- The calling of God’s love, as He gives purpose to our lives through work (v. 3)
- The comfort of God’s love, as He provides for us and protects us, even in fearful circumstances (v. 4)
Today we see the celebration of God’s love, powerfully manifested in the very presence of our enemies.
The psalmist noted the fearful circumstances in verse 4, but those fears were mere shadows, not actual dangers. In verse 5, the enemy is not just imagined, but it is real and present at the scene of this verse.
Notice that the psalmist did not say that God was hiding him while the enemy passed by. Instead, the psalmist was careful to note that God set out a banquet to honor him in full view of the enemy, and the enemy was powerless to do anything about it.
This was not a quick morsel to be eaten on the run – this was a full-on sit-down banquet, with abundant supply of food and drink, and the psalmist is the honored guest!
What was the psalmist’s response?
Was it gloating in front of the enemy? No.
Was it resistance, where the psalmist rejected the attention because he didn’t feel worthy or didn’t feel like he had earned this favor? No.
The psalmist humbly accepted God’s love and honor and felt God’s favor and blessing.
How often do we feel we must earn God’s favor, rather than receive His love?
And what is our mindset of God’s love toward us?
Do we see God’s love as scarce, and to be hoarded as if it’s a rare jewel?
Or do we see God’s love as abundant and extravagant, more than overflowing our needs, so much that we can freely share it with others?
May we see God’s love toward us as the psalmist did – blessing us when we haven’t earned it, incredibly generous, more than meeting our needs and wants and desires, so much so that we can’t do anything other than joyfully give the excess to others, even in the very presence of our toughest enemies and life situations.