Never Alone - Our Shepherd is Generous
As we continue through Psalm 23, we now make a shift from shepherd and sheep to host and guest. David grew up in the Bedouin culture, which holds the value that hospitality is a moral imperative. You can see the lengths that this hospitality culture goes to in reading the story of Lot, his daughters, and the guests that Lot is hosting (Genesis 19:1-11). It is extreme hospitality.
Psalm 23:5 reads, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." One of the best pictures of being invited to "the table" is the story of Mephibosheth found in 2 Samuel 9. King David shows kindness to Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, who is crippled. He is invited to the king's table to dine with him all his days.
There is something powerful about the table. It should be a place of safety and a place to belong. Like Mephibosheth, none of us deserve to be invited to the Lord's table, but we are welcome there.
Anointing was used for:
2. High Priests
3. people who needed to be refreshed
My cup overflows:
In the Bedouin culture, you were given sweet tea when you entered the tent as a sign of being welcome. If your cup ran out of tea, or became unsweetened, it was a sign to leave. Sometimes, the host would pour the cup to the brim and let it overflow as a sign that you were "most welcome". It was called "an overflowing cup".
We have the opportunity to pass on our faith at our own table. As parents, it is our primary responsibility to disciple our children, and one fantastic place to do that is at the dinner table. The church is there to come alongside and be another voice speaking the same message that parents and grandparents speak at home. Important ways to sanctify our supper tables:
1. Make eating together a priority
2. Turn off technology - (57% of parents say tech is a distraction at the table)
3. Light a candle and linger - shalom comes from unhurried time. "Meals feed the body. Mealtimes feed the relationship."
4. Read a passage of Scripture.
5. Pray for one another.
To Discuss Today:
1. Is your home, and especially your supper table, a place of safety and connection; or is it a place of obligation and hurriedness? (In the last 60 years, the average length of time a meal lasts has dropped from 90 minutes to 12 minutes!)
2. On average, how many suppers do you eat together as a family? What can you do to intentionally increase that number?
3. Do you "feast" at the Lord's table knowing He is enough? Do you realize that He is the satisfaction?
4. What can you do to fulfill the quote, "You are who you eat with"? Do you have people different from you join you at your table? What are the reasons that keep you from doing it more? Are they really "valid" reasons?