“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil; My cup overflows with blessings. NLT
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” ESV
Aside: As we enter Advent season this year, I ponder the greatness and love of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even before time began, He knew mankind would not only fail Him, but rebel against Him; yet, He still came to us as a babe to grow into the man who would become our Good Shepherd and Savior. As we enter this season of joy, let us also remember it is a time of sorrow for some. If this is you, please never forget that our Good Shepherd understands and is there to comfort, lead, guide, and provide you with the hope needed to move through this time. Our God is trustworthy and never fails, faithfully leading us on the path to everlasting joy when we are united with Him and our loved ones in eternity, a time when there will be no more tears.
Now imagine yourself at a table—a feast. Because of his childhood background, David understood that for a shepherd, a table often meant a mesa, the top flat area of a hill with steep sides. Think of upper and lower Table Rocks in Medford, Oregon! A good shepherd would have led his flock through many pastures and streams, leading upward to the pinnacle of a hill with a marvelous pasture at the top—a pasture that had been prepared for the sheep because all poisonous plants and predators would have been removed beforehand.
What do we think of when we dwell on reaching a top? We have a sense of accomplishment—a sense of victory. I picture David paralleling this with God’s plan for him! His good shepherd, God Father, continually kept him safe from his enemies, leading him onward and upward to safety over and over again. David was not only able to sleep (Psalm 3), but he understood that God’s calling upon his life was what we might humanly think of as a pinnacle—that of being king. Upon God’s direction, Samuel had anointed David King of Israel, and remembering this, David fully trusted God for protection. So now David is feasting on that truth during a time when his enemy still pursued him with the goal of ending his life.
Imagine yourself sitting at such feast. The enemy surrounds you on all sides, slinging arrows and accusations at you: “You are worthless, a sinner, a monster whose wrongs can never be forgiven.” Don’t believe this lie! Your Good Shepherd has gone before you, removing the poison of sin when you confess and ask His forgiveness; and with His death, your Shepherd became your everlasting victor over the predator whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. John 10:10a
Your Good Shepherd has been guarding you through your journey in life, leading you on the path to victory’s table with a mouth-watering feast! With Jesus as your protector and Savior, the enemy has been conquered; its forces are powerless and can only watch as God honors you. All along God’s protection, His rod and staff, were there to shield you from attack, and you are reaping the rewards of trusting Him.
God now honors you by anointing your head with oil. He is showing the world that you are loved, valued, and worth everything to Him, so much so that He sentenced His only Son to death, exchanging His life for your sins that you might be able to share joy with Him. God’s blessings are so abundant upon you that they overflow! You are now able to bless others, sharing His love and the Good News that they, too, are loved beyond measure. You reassure them that God will pursue them all the days of their lives because He desires no man to perish. (2 Peter 3:9)
Do you question whether or not this is you? This definitely CAN be! First, you must believe in and trust the one and only true God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; you must believe that He sent His only beloved Son, Jesus, to die in your place for your sins, then be resurrected; you must confess your sins and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior; and you must understand that God sends His Holy Spirit to live within you the moment Jesus becomes your Savior, giving you an entirely new nature that desires not to sin but grow in righteousness. With these beliefs, you can be clothed in God’s armor: the belt of truth; the breastplate of His righteousness; the shoes of the good news of our Savior, Jesus; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit. Eph. 6:10-17 Then, trusting God as your Shepherd, He will lead you through life’s raging storms to a victorious banquet feast. What a glorious thought to keep in mind as we enter this Advent season!
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
Ezekiel 34:11-12 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I myself will search for My sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
John 10:10b “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for teaching me that I can trust in You always. Thank You for pursuing me and carrying me on Your shoulders from time to time, then guiding me with Your rod and staff to the mountain top where I will feast without fear in the presence of my enemy, for You are there with strength and power to protect. I now understand that though life’s battles rage all around me, the war has been won. YOU ARE MY GLORIOUS VICTOR! Let me never forget this now during Advent when I once again celebrate your glorious plan of salvation and the birth of my Good Shepherd, Your one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Amen
Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other 'teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
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Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.