Day 8 – The Divine Host

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Ps 23:5

At this point in the Psalm, the metaphor of the Divine Shepherd shifts to that of Divine Host. But at the same time, it continues with the promise of protection and provision.

Not only does the Lord prepare a meal for those who choose to follow Him; He does it in the presence of our enemies. In other words, even when we’re living in very difficult times when life seems to be closing in on us, God is ready and waiting for a time of fellowship with Him. And we get the impression that this is not fast food – the table is set and we are invited to dine with the King.

In our culture, we may not understand “You anoint my head with oil.” Anoint means to cover something with oil of some kind. In this context, the idea is that the host pours some fragrant oil on the guest’s head. Although we probably can’t imagine doing something like this today, it was not only common in ancient times, it was expected.  Jesus brings this out once when He was visiting a Pharisee. In Luke 7:46, we read, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” The implication is that the Pharisee had shown Jesus disrespect by not anointing His head. God demonstrates His favour toward us by providing this honour.

But there is something more here. In the Bible and in the New Testament in particular, “anoint” usually refers to the presence of the Holy Spirit. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God” (2Cor 1:21) refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives as Christians. Back in Psalm 23, not only is our head anointed, but our cup runs over. We are to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18, Acts 13:52, Luke 4:1). This is a free gift that is part of our salvation – we simply need to accept the Divine Host’s invitation to fellowship with Him.

 

Consider:

How do you feel when you consider that God Himself wants to be your host – to serve you?

Have you ever asked God to fill you with His Holy Spirit?