The verse in the old familiar KJV reads: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Sheep get rattled and spooked very easily; the slightest movement can send them in a panic. Know anybody like that? Nevertheless, this sheep (writer) said he could enjoy a bountiful feast even with the knowledge that predators were nearby, simply because the Great Shepherd was with him. I can imagine the excellent physical condition the Lord’s flock possessed. As I mentioned before, a lot can be known about the owners by the appearance and physical condition of their animals or pets under their care. In the eyes of this sheep the table set before him was like a banquet where nothing was left out. With Thanksgiving Day approaching, many families plan to set a table that has everything in it but I’m sure that often some side dishes are overlooked. You may not say it but oftentimes you will say within yourself “That was a great dinner, but it would have been even better if they hadn’t forgotten the _________ .” That does not happen with the Lord; He supplies every need and never forgets anything. To me “in the presence of my enemies” is a reference to our everyday experience while here on earth. Our enemies are not necessarily people. They can also be worry, fear, or doubt. Yet, even though we know these things are nearby we can be perfectly at ease while feasting on the Lord’s blessings. Even in this life, we can be happy and blessed. We don’t have to wait for the “sweet by and by.” To me, “thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” has two applications. The first one implies that the Preparer of the feast, also anoints the head of His guests with a sweet smelling perfume. While they are enjoying the meal, they are clean in His eyes and in His presence. “My cup runneth over” indicates that the guests at the table are full and completely satisfied. The second application is this: In the time of this writing, a good shepherd made it a habit of periodically anointing the heads of his sheep in order to keep them free from insects and parasites. Without this mixture, the sheep would be constantly tormented by these pests. Because of it, they would not get their proper rest, neither would they be able to get their much needed nourishment nor enjoy their food. With us too, the “oil” is the Holy Spirit that gives us the peace, comfort, and the nourishment that keeps us spiritually healthy.
God’s word for today: (John 1:16) “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”