Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Jehovah my Shepherd

Psalm 23, In our study of this familiar Psalm, we will find a number of encouragements given to us by the Holy Spirit as David penned these words so long ago. They are just as fresh and just as encouraging to us today. We see that David has described for us the Lord as the Shepherd who protects and provides. The One who provides us with rest, refreshment, and restoration. He is the One who restores us and comforts us when we face the uncertainties of life. He provides for us in the midst of trials and difficulties, He enables us to serve Him, and He supplies abundantly more than we need.

Psalm 23:5

"Thou Preparest a Table Before Me in the Presence of Mine Enemies: Thou Anointest My Head with Oil; My Cup Runneth Over."


In verse 5 we see three analogies.

1. That of a warrior.

2. That of a priest.

3. That of a guest.

I. Warrior: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."

A. Usually when a soldier is in the presence of his enemies, if he eats at all it is a quick bite and then back to the battle.

1. M.R.E. (Meals Ready To Eat) = carry them with you ready to eat while on the run.

2. Usually cold and not too tasty.

B. The word "prepare" means to set up, to set in a row, to set in order.

C. "Thou preparest a table," just like any ordinary peaceful occasion.

1. Nothing is hurried, there is no confusion, no disturbance.

2. The enemy is at the door, and yet God prepares a table, and the believer sits down and eats as if everything were in perfect peace.

3. David reminds us here of the peace which God gives to his people, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances!

(Psa 107:1-2) "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (2) Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;"

D. Spiritually the table speaks of fellowship and communion.

E. Fellowship and communion is not broken due to circumstances, no matter how difficult.

II. Priest: "Thou anointest my head with oil."

A. Every believer is a priest.

(1 Pet 2:9) "But Ye Are a Chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a Peculiar People; That Ye Should Show Forth the Praises of Him Who Hath Called You out of Darkness into His Marvellous Light:"

(Rev 1:6) "And Hath Made Us Kings and Priests unto God and His Father; to Him Be Glory and Dominion for Ever and Ever. Amen."

B. As priests we have:

1. Right to confess our sins to God.

2. Right to come boldly to the throne of grace (middle wall of partition gone).

3. Right to offer sacrifices.

C. Oil symbol of Holy Spirit.

D. Three persons were anointed.

1. Kings

2. Prophets

3. Priests

E. Every Christian is a priest, but we cannot execute the priestly office without the power of the Spirit of God upon us; so we must daily be filled with the Spirit.

F. The God who has called us to serve Him as priests, has also provided the power that will enable us to serve Him.

III. Guest: "My cup runneth over."

A. Our cup that overflows speaks of the abundant blessings of our Lord.

1. As a guest in a home is honored by having his cup kept full.

2. God blesses us abundantly and overflows our cup!

B. Now consider this, to have our cups full means that we have enough.

1. Perhaps we may be satisfied with just enough.

2. But God has chosen to give us more!

(John 10:10b)"...I Am Come That They Might Have Life, and That They Might Have it More Abundantly."

(Eph 3:20) "Now unto Him That Is Able to Do Exceeding Abundantly above All That We Ask or Think, According to the Power That Worketh in Us,"

C. To have our cups running over, means that we are so blessed that we cannot contain the blessings.

(Mal 3:10) "Bring Ye All the Tithes into the Storehouse, That There May Be Meat in Mine House, and Prove Me Now Herewith, Saith the Lord of Hosts, If I Will Not Open You the Windows of Heaven, and Pour You out a Blessing, That There Shall Not Be Room Enough to Receive It."


David reminds us that God is a God of preparation. He has prepared a place of communion and fellowship for us in the midst of the battle. He has prepared the annointing for us that we might fulfill our purpose in serving Him. He has prepared more than we will ever be able to use.