21 November 2012

pastures and valleys [part III]

dining_dinner - The Ridge Tahoe Resort Hotel
{image credit: Ridge Tahoe}
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.


"a table":  We're taking time to sit around a table, so we are not eating on the run. It's going to be a leisurely, pleasant meal-- possibly a celebration!

"you prepare": as usual, the shepherd does all the work here. He is once again looking out for the psalmist.

"before me": this nourishment and comfort are readily available. I don't have to go on an expedition to find it.

"my enemies": the same dangers that presented themselves in the valley. Those who desire my hurt or downfall.

"in the presence": the Lord is not at all intimidated by these enemies. He is practically thumbing his nose at them. Nobody can deter him from his purpose. As in the valley of the shadow of death, he is providing comfort to his flock right in the middle of an apparently dangerous situation.

"oil": a sign of welcome, blessing, even divine favor or selection. "The oil of gladness."

"cup": literally, a drinking vessel. But figuratively, my heart or my portion of blessing.

"overflows": far beyond mere filling. God is abundantly able to provide and to delight. He's an extravagant host. His guests never lack (just as the sheep shall not want).

This seems an appropriate passage to post about on the day before Thanksgiving. :)

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