When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "Psalm 23."

The Lord is my Shepherd
I’m Feeling Good about God

Psalm 23:5

This is the fifth message from the 23 Psalm and we’ll be focusing on the fifth verse; we’re dealing with the subject; “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

Before I read Psalm 23, the devil wants us to think negatively about God. He doesn’t want us to have good feelings regarding God. The devil knows if he can get us to thinking negatively about God, he can do almost anything with us that he wants.

When he appeared as the serpent and first crawled into the pages of history. He asked Eve a question. He said, "... Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1). Now, God didn't say any such thing. God said just the opposite. "... Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat..." (Genesis 2:17). With the exception of just one tree, freely eat.

You see what the devil did, he tried to get Eve to think negatively about God, and he's still doing that today. People today think of God as some kind of a cosmic killjoy. Every time He sees anybody having a good time, He moves in to break up the party. People just think negatively about God and when they think about serving God, they think of it as something that they have to do in order to get to Heaven, not something they want to do.

It's like taking bad medicine in order to get well. You don't like the taste of the medicine, but you choke it down because the only alternative is being sick. What a distorted idea of the goodness of our great God Yehovah.

Let’s read Psalm 23:1-5 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me"—then our verse for this morning—"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:1-5).

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You for Your Word and the comfort and strength it gives me. Thank You that You are my Shepherd and my Provider. Thank You that You are with me through the darkest days as well as during the sunny times; and thank You that You have provided all that I need, according to Your riches in glory. Thank You that You are my God and Savior. You have indeed prepared an overflowing table before me in the presence of my enemies, and have anointed my head with the oil of gladness. My cup overflows with Your never-ending blessings, for which I praise and thank You, in Jesus name AMEN

I want us to notice; Thou preparest a table before me…. Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting table, His banner over me is love.

The Good Shepherd becomes a Servant!   Luke 12:37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.  Can you believe His purpose is to serve us?

In the presence of mine enemies: Charles Spurgeon said “The good man has his enemies. He would not be like his Lord if he didn’t. If we were without enemies, we might fear that we were not the friends of God, for the friendship of the world is enmity to God.”

Mark 14:16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

Betrayers, enemies, will be sitting at the table with you! Psalm 41:9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

Thou anointest my head with oil; that’s The Power of the Holy Spirit coming on someone’s life!

The anointing often comes in the adversities of life!

My cup runneth over. The Goodness of God will be poured out so abundantly into your life it will spill over into others!

William Secker said “Wherefore doth the Lord make your cup run over that other men's lips might taste it. The showers that fall upon the highest mountains glide into the lowest valleys.

I submit, in this one verse there's much to make us feel good about God. Let me give you the background of this passage of Scripture. First of all, we have what we call a prepared table. "Thou preparest a table before me..." that means that God sets the table. Who sets the table in your house? Well, It all depends on who’s coming. If no one's coming, sometimes the wife will let the husband set the table, which they never get right.

Most husbands are semi-intelligent men but we never can seem to remember exactly where the silverware goes. Every time we think we've got it, we hear "that’s not right." Either I put the spoon on the wrong side of the fork, or the fork on the knife, or something. There's a pattern to that and it's very simple. The wife might say "Now, look, how can you be the pastor of a church, how can you be a college graduate, and you can't even get the silverware right?" But, somehow, we've just got a mental block about that. And then sometimes the children will set the table.

But when company is coming, generally, the wife will set the table. No longer do we have the place mats. We have the linen tablecloth. No longer do we have the glass. We get the crystal. No longer do we have everyday dishes, the best china comes out, and there will be lighted candles on the table with fresh flowers. Generally that wonderful recipe, and everything is just right, and the music will be playing softly in the background. Do you know why you set the table that way? Do you know why you prepare the table? To honor the person who's coming.

You see, here's what David is saying, "God has put on an apron. God, Yehovah has prepared a table for me, for us. The Lord of Glory has prepared a table for me. He loves me. He welcomes me. We’re special to Him."

And, then, the next phrase says, "Thou anointest my head with oil."

In the wealthy Middle Eastern home there would be a cruise of oil right by the door. Very expensive ointment, perfumed, and it would be there for special occasions. When a very important guest would come into the home, the guest would greet them, and there would be a kiss on either cheek. And, then he would reach into that bowl of ointment and put that ointment on the face, and the head, and the hair of his guest. It would perfume that person, and refresh them. They called it "the anointing of the head."

During the rest of the feast, that person would smell that sweet perfume and that ointment that was on his head. They do something like this in Hawaii. When you come into a home in Hawaii, they take a ring of flowers, a Lei, and they put it around your neck. And the whole time you're there you just smell those flowers. It's their way of saying, "We love you. You're special. You're welcome." Now, if the lady from next door came over to borrow an egg, or some flour, they didn't anoint her head it was something special.

Remember the story where Mary took that alabaster box of ointment and anointed the hairs of Jesus and even His feet. There was a man there named Simon and others complaining, and Jesus said, "Simon, you didn't anoint My head when I came into your house.’ That is, "Simon, you did not show Me that reverence and that respect. But, this woman has not only anointed My head, but My feet.

Then the last thing, not only was there the prepared table and the anointing of the head, there was the overflowing cup. "My cup runneth over."

In Bible times, they didn't have hotels, and motels, and the restaurants, and the things that we have today. There were a few inns, but most of them were dirty and filthy, and the few that were there were crowded. For example, with Jesus, there was no room in the inn.

They were expensive and many times very immoral. But, there was a law in the land, the law of hospitality, if you were traveling, and you came to a man's house in the middle of the day, and asked for food, it would be absolutely unthinkable that he would let you go on without first feeding you. It was just simply the law of the land that a stranger would be invited in and be given a meal.

Now, suppose, that stranger came about evening time and he sits down, and you give him this meal, you have done your duty, you've been respectful, you've fed him, and it's time for him to go on. But, suppose you really have come to like this person and you want him to stay. Here's the way they would do it.

The host would take his cup at the end of the meal, and take the pitcher, and if it was time for this man to go, he would fill that cup half full. And, what that meant was, "Mister, when you finish your dessert, hit the road." The cup is half full. He wouldn't have to say a word.

But, if the host would come with that pitcher and begin to pour into that cup and would pour it up to the brim, and then just let it overflow and run over, it was saying, "You're special, you are invited to stay in my home overnight as a special guest." That's what David is saying.

David is saying, "He, Yehovah, has prepared a table for me. I'm special. Jehovah has anointed my head. He loves me. My cup runneth over. He's showing hospitality to me. He is my friend." Jesus said, John 15:15: "... I call you not servants... but I have called you friends..." Don't think negatively 
about a friend.

What is a friend? Somebody says, "A friend is somebody who knows all about you, and loves you just the same." Someone else said, "A friend is someone who goes on liking you, no matter how successful either one of you becomes." Or, here's a good definition. "A friend is somebody who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself." Or, "A friend is a source of celebration when you've come to believe that there's nothing to celebrate." "A friend is somebody who comes to your side when you call and often answers even before you call." And, of course, we know that all of those things picture the Lord Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners.

What the Scripture is showing here in verse 5 is that the Lord is a friend. What a friend we have in the Lord Jesus. He prepares a table. "He anoints my head with oil. My cup runneth over." Don't ever let the devil get you to thinking negatively about God.

There are three things I want us to think about as we think about the Lord in this verse of Scripture. First of all, as we think about the prepared table, I want us to think of the fullness that we have in Christ. Jesus Christ meets the deepest hungers of our hearts, and He satisfies the deepest longings, Jesus satisfies.

The Bible is just kind of a continual feast from Genesis right on through Revelation? They're always having suppers, and dinners, and banquets, and feasts all through the Bible. Sometimes we like to get together and fellowship around a meal; which is so Biblical.

I was thinking about all of the feasts and the meals that our Lord prepared for His disciples. I was thinking, for example, about how the Lord Jesus fed the five thousand, He performed a miracle, a few fish and loaves and He fed five thousand people. He prepared a table of replenishment.

He's done that for me so many times. I feel so inadequate, I run out of resources, and the Lord just prepares a table before me; I don't deserve it. And, bless God, I can't even explain it, how He meets my need day by day.

I'm not just talking about physical needs, yes those, but more than that. I want to ask a question. Was there any way that you could explain the feeding of the five thousand, except God. Let me ask another question. What is there about your life that cannot be explained apart from God?

That's the only part you have that you can call believable. Only the unexplainable, I mean, if your neighbor can explain you and you're just like him only you're religious, that's not going to convince him. But, when he sees God, who is supernaturally meeting your needs, and preparing for you a table of replenishment, then you're going to be believable. Not only a table of replenishment, but what about a table of restoration.

Do you remember when Simon Peter cursed, and swore, and denied the Lord Jesus? Jesus was crucified, and He was raised from the dead, the disciples were discouraged, and they weren't sure, half-believing, half-doubting. Peter said, "... I go a fishing..." (John 21:3). The others went with him.

They'd gone back to Galilee even though Jesus had said, "... tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). There they were, disobedient, dejected, out there fishing. They fished all night, hadn't caught anything. And, then Jesus says, standing on the seashore, "Hey, have you caught anything?" They said, "No." He said, "Well, why don't you cast your net on the other side?" And, they did and they caught all of those fish and Peter, "It's the Lord."

Peter took off his fisherman's coat, and made his way over to meet the Lord Jesus. When he got there, what had the Lord done? Prepared a table, there were fish on those hot coals and fresh bread. Now, I can understand the fish, He was there by the sea, I can understand where He got the fish, but where did He get that bread? I don't know, but I like to think He turned stones into bread. "I'll do it when I want to, not when you want Me to."

But, whatever, however, can you imagine fishing all night? Do you know how hungry you get when you've been working nets all night long and its breakfast time? And, there on the shore they smell that hot baked bread and Jesus says, "... Come and dine..." (John 21:12). "Thou preparest a table before me," not only a table of replenishment, but a table of restoration.

Have you failed Him? Probably. You might even have cursed, and sworn, and denied Him like Peter did, but He says, "Come and dine."

Just before He was crucified, He had the Passover feast, and He sat down with them, and broke the bread. He was the host at that table. He passed the cup and said, "... this do in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:24). Not only a table of replenishment, and not only a table of restoration, but a table of remembrance, and redemption.

Oh, thank God that we can sit down and feast at the table He has prepared for us. But, listen, the best table is yet to come. Jesus said, "... I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom..." (Mark 14:25). Where is that going to be, at the marriage supper of the Lamb. There's yet a feast that we're coming to. Our Lord who's preparing a place is also preparing a feast. And, one of these days we're going to sit down at that table with Him.  Listen, don't think negatively about God.

When the Bible describes our salvation it doesn't describe it as a funeral, but as a feast. "Thou preparest a table before me." And, so, first of all, I want us to think of the fullness that we have in Christ.

There's a second thing I want us to think about,

that ought to make us feel good about God. I want us to think about the freshness we have in Christ. "Thou anointest my head with oil." That was to refresh. Let me give you a wonderful Scripture, Psalm 92:10: "... I shall be anointed with fresh oil"

How about this one? Psalm 45:7: "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."

Fresh oil, the oil of gladness. God anoints us with that. He anoints our head with oil. He's telling me that there ought to be a refreshing, a sweet aroma, there ought to be an oil of gladness about serving the Lord. Hey, don't feel sorry for me because I'm a Christian. I'm having a wonderful time, and I want to say His mercies are new every morning, every morning He anoints me with fresh oil.

When I was preparing this message, I got to thinking about this. "Is this true? Is there fresh oil every morning?" I had to lift my hands and praise the Lord. It is true. I love Him better today than yesterday. I can say with my heart and my soul, that He’s still even more exciting to me.

I thank God for the freshness in Christ. Other things get old but He just gets better. He gets sweeter. He gets more real. He satisfies every need. Yes, there's the fullness in Christ. He prepares a table. There's the freshness in Christ, that fragrance of Christ, that beauty of Christ, that reality of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don't ever let the devil get you to thinking negatively about God.

There's a third thing this verse tells me that makes me feel good about God; not only the fullness in Christ and the freshness in Christ, but the freeness, the freeness that we have in Christ. My cup runneth over.

When He gives, He gives so freely, so lavishly, so wondrously. God is a God of the open hand, and the open heart. How free God gives. God is not stingy. God doesn't hold back. You see, in that passage on the Good Shepherd in John 10:10, what did Jesus say? Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it Abundantly." Not only does He add years to our life. He adds life to our years, and it's an abundant life.

I was thinking about this, the abundance that He gives, and you know it's so true. When Jesus turned the water into wine in John 2, do you know how much wine He made that day of the best wine? About One hundred and twenty gallons. Now, folks, they didn't need a hundred and twenty gallons. That cup overflowed. Let me give you another example. When Jesus fed the five thousand with a little boy's sack lunch, which was wonderful, but after He fed the five thousand, there were twelve baskets full left over. Think about it. Our cup runs over.

Listen, He speaks of peace, but not just peace. "...

the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) He speaks of joy, but not just joy. "... joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). When the Prodigal Son came back he said, "... bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it..." (Luke 15:23). Not just kill a chicken. The fatted calf, not just a calf, the best. He said, "... Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him..." (Luke 15:22).

He's not talking here about necessity. He's talking about luxury. He's talking about giving out of His infinite goodness and fullness. He just keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. Have you ever thought about God as the giving God, as the lavish God? Oh, freely you have received the freeness that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. God doesn't measure His blessings drop by drop. Our cup runs over.

God throws in more than we expect. My cup just runs over. I mean, He doesn't measure His blessings. Oh, how we ought to be like that. The Bible says, "... freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).

Some folks when God gives and when the cup runs over, they don't let it run over, they want a bigger cup. You don't have to have a bigger cup if your cup is running over.

Remember the man in the Bible whose fields brought forth so much and he said, "... I have no room where to bestow my fruits" (Luke 12:17)? He said, "... This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater..." (Luke 12:18). I don't want it to run over. I don't want it to bless anybody else. I want it all for me."  No, no, listen, "Freely have received, freely give." Let the cup run over and let it be a blessing to somebody else.

I remembered a song which I won’t get right but it goes something like: His love has no limit. His grace has no measure. His power has no boundary known unto man. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

What do we have in the Lord Jesus? Oh, we have fullness in Christ. He prepares a table. What do we have in the Lord Jesus? We have freshness in Christ. He anoints our head. What do we have in the Lord Jesus? We have freeness in Christ. Our cup runs over. Don't let the devil get you to thinking negatively about God. I want us to hear Jesus saying, "I prepared a table for you. Come and dine. Come and dine."

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

I trust you feel good about God, in Jesus’ Name Amen!