You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)
The image now switches from a shepherd and his sheep to that of a host and his guest. Here God is a gracious host that brings out the very best for His guest. Once someone had invited a guest into their home, it was their job to protect them at almost any cost. Think about Lot and the angels in Genesis 19 and the Levite from Judges 19. Once the host had extended the grace of hospitality, he was responsible to keep his guest safe.
Another “perk” that a gracious and generous host would bestow on a guest was to anoint them with oil. They would use expensive, fragrant oil and place it on their foreheads. It was to honor the guest and show them they were important. It was also done to show the prosperity of the host and the joy of the visit.
The overflowing cup showed the abundance of the blessings. This was not a stingy host that only gave when asked and then only the bare minimum. No, this host honored his guest by giving him an abundance of the good things of his household. Really, I guess you could sum up all that the gracious host does for his guest as lavish. It’s not so much that the host is showing off his wealth. As it is that he is lavishly blessing his guest.
David certainly knew firsthand about the rich blessings of the Lord. If there was one word that could sum up David’s life it would surely be blessed. God had taken him from his position as a shepherd over his father’s sheep and made him the king of Israel. David was chosen ahead of anyone in Saul’s family and over all his older brothers. Neither Samuel nor David’s own father suspected that David was God’s chosen king. Nevertheless, God had chosen David and no one else. David would be God’s chosen successor to the throne of Israel. God even promised David that one of his descendants would always be on the throne of Israel. A promise God faithfully kept.
The way that God has chosen to bless those that follow Jesus can certainly be described as lavish.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, Ephesians 1:3-8 (NKJV)
In this passage, we see some of the rich spiritual blessings that God has lavished on us because of Christ. We see that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing because we belong to Christ. We see that long before God created the world He chose us in Christ so that we could be holy and without fault in His eyes. Through Jesus God adopted us into His family.
We are also told that Jesus purchased our freedom through His death and now our sins are forgiven. Jesus died so that we could live. His death on the cross freed us from the slavery to our sinful nature and paid the penalty for all the wrongs that we have done.
This passage also teaches us how God felt about pouring these rich blessings out on us. It gave Him great pleasure. God loves to lavish His blessings on those who are following Jesus. These are just the ones that Paul lists in a small portion of Ephesians 1. This doesn’t take into consideration the many things we are promised in other places or the many things we have personally experienced that aren’t listed here. I know that in my life God has tremendously blessed me. As I follow Jesus as my shepherd, I will experience God’s rich blessings. I believe I can say without hesitation that this is a certainty. I WILL experience God’s rich blessings in my life as I follow Jesus. His blessings are what we need and with Jesus as our shepherd, it is what we have.