Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
1. The table is prepared.
The banquet has been set. We are the main guest. This is not just a pitstop Happy Meal at McDonald’s. David is describing a banquet in the valley. Just as he described in the previous verses, God is providing all that we need according to His ability.
Isaiah 58:11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Psalm 84:11-12 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
Psalm 107:9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
2 Corinthians 9:8 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
God will supply all you need to do all you are supposed to do!
2. The healing has started.
“You anoint my head with oil.” In the middle of a tough walk through the valley, it would be common to encounter thorns and difficult terrain that could cause cuts and scrapes and bruises. You might not get through this without a scratch, but the banquet host will pour the healing oil over you to soothe the abrasions before the feast.
God is our healer and mender. Through the blood of Jesus, the oil is poured over us to soothe and heal the abrasions of the valley.
Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
3. The security is not your concern.
For someone in David’s day, to host a banquet and prepare a table for you meant they had set aside any enmity between the host and guest and assumed all responsibility for their safety and security.
God has removed all hostilities between us and Him and invited us to the table. Through Jesus we have been made right, and all past sins are forgiven. The banquet host prepares the table as if there were never any hostilities.
God alone is our security in the presence of our enemies. The host was solely responsible for the safety of the guest. While in the presence of the host, nothing could happen to them.
Psalm 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge — 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
God is verifying His relationship with us by protecting and supplying in the presence of the enemy. He’s not dangling you like a carrot before Satan. He is proving that Satan cannot remove you from God’s protection.
1. There is no condemnation at the table.
2. There is no history at the table.
3. There are no accusations at the table.
4. There is more than enough.
“My cup overflows.” God is not trying to just get you there. His forgiveness is more than enough to forgive all your sin. His grace is more than enough to get you through anything. His healing power is more than enough for every sickness. His provision is more than enough for every need.
God is a God of abundant supply. If we are His, then by default, we have MORE than enough.
1. What stood out to you most from this week’s message?
2. How have you felt when someone made a special meal just for you? What was special about it?
3. How can we learn to trust that in the middle of our valleys and in the presence of our enemy, God is providing everything we need?
4. What is your favorite way to treat and soothe sores, cuts and abrasions?
5. In the middle of our tough circumstances, how can we keep our eyes open for the way God is healing us before we are even out of the valley?
6. When is a time that someone came to your rescue unexpectedly?
7. After we ask for forgiveness when we have sinned, how can we be sure God will still protect and take care of us?
8. “Since God has forgiven you, forgive yourself.” How do we take our focus off of our self-condemnation and learn to believe that God does not hold our sin against us after he forgives us?
9. When is a time that you hoped things would work out ok, but until they did, you really weren’t sure?
10. How can we learn to be confident that God is more than able to meet our needs - that there is nothing so great that he can’t supply for it?
11. What would you like to do differently because of this week’s message?