Savior Series

A Psalm for the Times Part 2

Yesterday we looked at the first three verses of Psalm 23, and today we are going to look at the last three verses of the Psalm.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

In the first three verses we talked about how God will lead us and guide us, but we also need to remember to be still long enough for Him to guide us and direct us. you can catch Part 1 HERE)

Once we get to verse 4, we notice a shift from leaning on God to direct us and lead us to leaning on Him when we can’t walk, much less stand for ourselves.

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;

I don’t about you, but one of the most comforting things I could ever read is that God is will us in our deepest, darkest moments.When I was pregnant with my first, we had an incident when I was 35 weeks pregnant with her where all signs pointed to me needing to deliver early because of pre-eclampsia.

I remember after being admitted in the hospital that night laying there and praying to God that if I had to deliver her prematurely, that He would take care of her and me.

The Lord at that very moment brought me to Isaiah 41:10:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

As soon as I let those words resonate in my mind and heart, I felt God in that room with me. I sensed His presence in the horribly uncomfortable hospital bed I was confined to. He wasn’t just in the room, He was surrounding me. He was with me.

(Actually this is a story I continue discussing on the “Faith through the Fire” Virtual Summit. Make sure to check out my full story of “When God’s Way and Yours Don’t Match”  Thursday, April 23 @ 8:00 EST on youtube HERE to learn how I my faith was tested and how I persevered through it all.)

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Ok shameless plug aside, I encourage you to think of your personal darkest valley experience, how did you know that God was there?

your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

We know He is there because we are comforted by Him. God will sometimes bring others into the valley with us to support us and comfort us, and also provide us with a “peace that transcends all understanding” to get us through those darkest moments of our life.

I’ve read somewhere in the past that the significance of the rod and staff for a shepherd is two-fold:

The hook of the staff was used to gently guide or lead the sheep, while the rod was used for the same, it is also used to correct the sheep. Both the rod and the offered protection.

There is a comfort to know that we are being tending to and kept by the Good Shepherd. There also is a comfort in knowing that He has our best interest at heart, so any correction or discipline we experience is made in love.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

This part can be somewhat confusing to understand. For David to make mention of the Lord preparing a table in the company of his enemies suggests that our “Host” (Jesus) protects us and empowers us to the point where we can sit down at a table with our enemies (we don’t need to run from our fears, because in Christ, perfect love drives out fear.)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

The second part of the verse referring to God’s favor and anointing, and as a result, our cup overflows.

If we read it and connect with the table that is prepared for us (through Christ we are able to sit down and not run from our enemies) The result of this is that we receive a fresh anointing and an abundance of God’s grace and goodness.

In the old testament specifically we see several instances of the importance of “anointing with oil”, the word anoint comes from, dashen, which means, “to be fat, grow fat.” (Um I don’t know about you, but I’m personally doing everything I can to avoid growing fat, haha!)

Lucky for us, this idea of growing fat refers to prosperity and enlarging our influence and territory. It is out of this abundance that our cup overflows.

A great example of our cup overflowing is a mountain-top moment” we have with God, a personal encounter that leaves us so encouraged and so inspired that it tints the glasses (albeit most of the time temporarily) we’re wearing to give us a new perspective on our health, our marriage, our family, and our friends.

The last women’s conference I attended left me this way. I went home from that conference with a new perspective and feeling a fresh outpouring of God grace and love that I couldn’t help express to those around me.

It is much easier to give to others from a full cup instead of an empty one.

What we sometimes forget is that this overflowing cup we experiencing from the anointing isn’t a one time thing. It is a continues thing to experience God’s goodness and share it will others.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Surely your goodness and love will follow meall the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lordforever.

We have assurance of God’s goodness through our personal Savior, Jesus Christ.

When I would read this passage before, I thought it was talking about when we leave this earth and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever at that time.

Now when I read it I see that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Now, here on earth, as well as in eternity.

To dwell is to, “abide, sit, inhabit, remain.”

We dwell in the house of the Lord forever not as guests, but as heirs with a promised inheritance here on earth as well as in heaven.

The table is prepared for us, with our enemies sitting at the table. But the enemy has to sit in the our presence at the table prepared at our house, God’s house.

(Immediately the song, “Our fathers house” comes to mind) If you haven’t heard it before I encourage you to google it, it talks not only about the house we will live in heaven, but it translates to the riches we have here and now in Christ Jesus.

This is a lengthy post today, but hopefully it’s encouraging to you!

Today’s Action point is to search bible verses about your inheritance, about who you are as a child of God, and as heir to the kingdom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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