Psalms 23 (HCSB)
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.
Psalm 23 reminds us (Christians) of the wonderful realities that God furnishes His people with. It evokes assurance and confidence to our souls, because it tells of what our God has personally provided for each one of us. Things such as… the absence of “lack,” a renewal of life, the leading along “the right paths,” a dispelling of the fear of danger when we find ourselves in the “darkest valley,” “comfort,” a cup which “overflows,” a state of always being pursued by Him with “goodness and faithful love,” and the knowing that we “dwell in the house of the Lord” as long as we live. Only God could provide such things. Peter makes this same point…
1 Peter 1:3-5 (HCSB)
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
“You Anoint My Head With Oil”
Just as Peter writes of how God protects us, the psalmist also touches upon this same notion, but he says it in a very strange way. He describes it with an illustration…
You anoint my head with oil…
To be honest, I never really thought about what this verse was saying. I just kinda skipped over it. But now, it has become a vital element in my being encouraged whenever I read this Psalm. Check out what recently came across my Facebook feed regarding Psalm 23, which has opened up the beauty of this phrase…
“Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!”
…Something I never knew about Psalm 23.
We must always keep in mind that (just like anointed sheep) we have also been anointed and protected (sealed) by our Shepherd…
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (HCSB)
Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
Godspeed, to the brethren!
*For further thoughts on “anointing,” check out the video below…