Psa.23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Obviously David often thought of the times of solitude he spent as a youth watching the sheep. He must have had a special relationship with these sheep, sensing the tenderness seen in this Psalm when he sees himself as a sheep in the flock of the Good Shepherd. In these simple yet profound words we can see an ocean of the Lord’s love and care for us. The Shepherd loves His sheep and makes sure his basic needs are met. David said that he would never want because the Lord was His Shepherd. Here is how Albert Barnes describes the temporal benefits of having this Shepherd.
“It is not merely “full”, it runs over. This, too, indicates abundance; and from the abundance of the favors thus bestowed, the psalmist infers that God would always provide for him, and that He would never leave him to want.”
There is also a sense of total spiritual satisfaction that flows from the life of the Shepherd. David always sang about being satisfied as God for His portion and delight. Augustine concurs as he talks about this inebriating cup.
“My cup runneth over.” Or as it is in the Vulgate: And my inebriating chalice, how excellent it is! With this cup were the martyrs inebriated, when, going forth to their passion, they recognised not those that belonged to them; not their weeping wife, not their children, not their relations; while they gave thanks and said, “I will take the cup of salvation!”
There is also a sense of extreme excess in David’s words. His cup is not just full, it is overflowing. Even when we are full the Lord keeps pouring. Out of this fulness is where we minister to others. My overflowing cup is a cup of ministry. Here is John Trappe’s explanation.
“My cup runneth over.” He had not only a fulness of abundance, but of redundance. Those that have this happiness must carry their cup upright, and see that it overflows into their poor brethren’s emptier vessels.”
So how is your cup doing today? Is it empty, half full, or overflowing? This is the life that began with David during those years as a shepherd. Samuel anointed David with oil and the Holy Spirit began to rush and remain on David. The rest of David’s life he was pouring out his songs from a full and overflowing cup.