Day 5 of Thoughts on Psalm 23
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5, ESV).
Picture this with me for a minute. Imagine you are on a battlefield. Enemies are surrounding you, ready to attack. Their weapons are drawn, ready to take you out. Just then, your commanding officer sets up a table with the most delicious food you have ever seen and asks you to sit down. That’s a pretty crazy thought, right? How could someone sit down to eat when danger is all around them?
As crazy as this may sound, that is exactly what the Lord Jesus has done for us. He has prepared a table for us and has invited us to sit down. What is on this table, you may wonder? This table represents everything we have obtained and enjoy in Christ Jesus. However, it’s important to remember that this table came at a very high cost. Jesus paid a great price to prepare this table for us. He held nothing back when it came to redeeming His own. I would like to imagine that He envisioned us seated at this table as He hung on the cross, giving His very life for each one of us. He died so we could enjoy all the blessings associated with having an intimate relationship with Him.
But how could we enjoy this feast with our enemy on every side? The average person would think we would be crippled with intense fear. If we let down our guard for even one second to enjoy this feast, the enemy will surely attack and have the victory. The key point we are missing here, though, is Who prepared this table. There is no need to fear our enemy when our Lord prepared the table for us. His presence completely erases any fear. The enemy can encircle us all they want, but they can’t lay a finger on us when we are with our Lord. What a joy it is to know we can have such an intimate relationship with One of such great power and majesty.
We should already feel so loved and protected as we think of the Lord Jesus preparing a table for us in the midst of our enemies. But He took it one step further: He also anoints us with oil. Priests were often anointed with oil as a way to show they were set apart, sanctified, or holy. As we enter into a relationship with the Lord Jesus, we too are now sanctified. We are considered holy, but only through the blood He shed on the cross. Anointing guests with oil was also a custom to show respect to those invited. So why would Christ do this for us? I truly believe that we will never understand, this side of eternity, how great our worth is in God’s eyes. All we see is our sinful, broken lives, but God sees us as His honored guests. He wants to lay out the best silverware, the finest tablecloth, the most delicious food. He has not, nor will He spare any cost for us. How much more could we ask from His gracious hand, as guilty sinners? As we meditate on verses like Psalm 23:5, we can’t help but think of how deep our Savior’s love is toward us. We are His honored guests, and He has done everything He can to show us how valuable we truly are in His sight. What a precious Savior we have in our Lord Jesus!