Shepherd Day 10 In the Presence of My Enemies: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, In the Presence of My Enemies!

Psalms 23:5 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. 

The Questions

1) What is the significance of the table in this Psalm?

2) What is the meaning of the image of a head being anointed with oil?

3) What is the importance of a cup that “overflows”? 


The Findings for Intention

1) What is the significance of the table in this Psalm?
David faced plenty of enemies over the course of his life (GoliathKing Saul, his own son Absalom – just to name a few).  His enemies were real, but David understood that God had chosen and established him as King and that God’s favor was on his life.  David imagined, in this verse, the closeness of a shared table where God honored His chosen servant.  What David describes here is that despite the real, present enemies in his life, God’s presence is most significant and all that truly matters to him.   

 2) What is the meaning of the image of a head being anointed with oil?
“From ancient times the priests and kings were ceremonially anointed as a sign of official appointment to office, and as a symbol of God’s power upon them,” (from the Holman Bible Dictionary).   David now references the fact that he has been set apart by God to lead His people.  He uses the powerful imagery of being anointed into his calling as king by The King of Kings.  David would not question that God gave him a specific role to fulfill even in the midst of dark times and enemies who would want to thwart that plan.  He would persevere and be faithful to the task set before him, trusting in God’s calling on his life.   

 3) What is the importance of a cup that “overflows”?
David ends this verse with a confident statement that regardless of the valley surrounding him, God would fill his life with bounty and blessing.  David acknowledged God’s extravagant favor, beyond what he could ask or even imagine.  David wasn’t simply filled and at capacity, but experienced abundance to the point of overflowing. 

The Everyday Application

1) What is the significance of the table in this Psalm?
There is an old Jewish proverb that says, “a shared table is a shared life.”  Take a moment and just imagine…lingering at the table with your Savior.  This is the honor that is bestowed by God on each of us – an open invitation to linger at the table and share our lives with Him.  The enemy, Satan, is real and is always at work in this world.  However, despite his presence, victory ultimately belongs to God alone.  Jesus declares this truth to Peter in Matthew 16:13-20, saying that nothing our enemy tries will ever overcome the work that God is doing in and through us in the world.  God honors us with that promise of ultimate victory.  Even when we face failure, we can be confident in the fact that God’s ultimate plan will prevail.  

2) What is the meaning of the image of a head being anointed with oil?
Just as David was anointed as king over God’s people, we are each called by God to fulfill His purposes for our lives (2 Timothy 1:9).  He has a plan for each of us and sets us apart for that reason.  Those who follow Christ and put their faith in Him alone are anointed by God just as David illustrates in his psalm.  2 Corinthians 1:21 says, “Now it is God who strengthens us together with you in Christ, and who has anointed us.”  As His anointed and called people, we have the holy, righteous, just God as the defender and protector of our character as His set apart, chosen followers. 

 3) What is the importance of a cup that “overflows”?
Sadly, we are much more familiar with the idea of running on empty than we are with being filled to overflowing.  We allow our busy schedules to dictate our availability and even our willingness to engage with the Father; it is one of the greatest plots of our enemy in the modern age.  Think about that:  when was the last time you slowed down enough to purposefully and intentionally allow God to fill you with His bounty and blessing?  Not just the last time you opened your Bible and read some verses, but truly lingered long enough to walk away with a sense of being full?  And not just full, but overflowing?  What would be required for you to have more time like that?  Is that something you honestly desire?  Linger today.  Let God speak deeply into your heart.  And then allow the overflow to reach into the lives of those around you. 

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, In The Presence Of My Enemies!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into
Shepherd Week Two!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Shepherd!