You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
At the King’s table there is more than enough to satisfy. The table is full of God’s bounty, and everyone’s cup is not just filled to the brim, but overflowing.
In another of David’s psalms, Psalm 65, he praises God for the abundance of his provision. Allow his descriptions of God’s bounty to create images in your mind.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
9 You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
Along with God’s bounty comes joy. The whole landscape is bursting with gladness. We can rejoice because our Creator gives in such abundance. Unlike the false gods of the ancient world, he does not insist that we bribe him with our devotion before he will throw us a crumb. Yahweh opens up his store houses of blessings and gives.
Because of God’s generosity, our cups overflow. God delights in giving his children his best. Fear of scarcity can lead us to become greedy, but trusting in God’s overflowing goodness gives us the freedom to joyfully share our bounty with others.
In this time when other people are suffering the loss of their jobs, those of us who still have steady paychecks have to decide how we will respond. We can fear that we’re next, hoard what we have, and plot to get more for ourselves while we can. Or we can trust in the abundance of our God and allow his generosity to us to overflow into the lives of others. We can take care of one another because our generous host not only takes care of us, but sits us down at a table overflowing with goodness.
In times of crisis we can alleviate the suffering of others by sharing what we are able. In turn, we should be able to look to our brothers and sisters in Christ and ask for help when we’re in need. Imagine how it must please God when his generosity is reflected among his people. When we come together to love and care for one another, and the lost sheep in our community, we are reflecting the character of the Good Shepherd who tenderly cares for the sheep, and the banquet host who lavishes his guests with abundance.
If you have a job, are you sharing what you can with those in need? If you’re in need, are you willing to ask for help? Consider the “why” behind your answer.
In times of economic stress, our first impulse can be to hold tightly to what is ours. Yet Psalm 23 assures us that Yahweh is a good Shepherd and a generous host. If you struggle in this area, pray that he would reassure you of his goodness so that your clinched fist can become an open hand to those in need.