Pas. 23:5 ¶ You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
That inebriating cup, so precious and so unexpected. I never dreamed in a million years that the anointing of the Lord would satisfy, equip, and intoxicate at the same time. What a shocking, yet welcome, blessing. The very tool that God used to equip us for the work goes so much farther. It adds the blessing of joy unspeakable to the equation. Here is how Augustine described it.
“Thou hast prepared a table in my sight, against them that trouble me. Now after the rod, whereby, whilst a little one, and living the natural life, I was brought up among the flock in the pastures; after that rod, I say, when I began to be under the staff, Thou hast prepared a table in my sight, that I should no more be fed as a babe with milk, but being older should take meat, strengthened against them that trouble me. Thou hast fattened my head with oil. Thou hast gladdened my mind with spiritual joy. And Thy inebriating cup, how excellent is it!”
The cup and the oil; oil for the head, wine for the glad heart. This is the double blessing of the anointing. Here is Matthew Henry’s description.
“Thou anointest my head with oil. Samuel anointed him king, which was a certain pledge of further favor; but this is rather an instance of the plenty with which God had blessed him, or an allusion to the extraordinary entertainment of special friends, whose heads they anointed with oil. Nay, some think he still looks upon himself as a sheep, but such a one as the poor man’s ewe-lamb, that did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom; not only thus nobly, but thus tenderly, are the children of God looked after. Plentiful provision is made for their bodies, for their souls, for the life that now is and for that which is to come. If Providence do not bestow upon us thus plentifully for our natural life, it is our own fault if it be not made up to us in spiritual blessings.”
That is the power of David’s Psalm. On one hand he is talking about the natural blessings enjoyed by a simple farm animal. At the same time he is describing the unthinkable, seated as kings at the table of the Lord.