In a couple more weeks, I have to speak at a ladies tea, and the theme of the tea is “My Cup Runneth Over.”
I started studying this phrase, and I will share with you what I have learned and also what the Lord has brought to my mind when I think of my cup running over.
Most of you probably know that the phrase, “My Cup Runneth Over” is a quotation from Psalm 23:5 and means “I have more than enough for my needs.” I have an overabundance. Most commentators say this Psalm 23:5 is a metaphor for God being a host, displaying hospitality to us, spreading out a banquet before us.
Psalm 23:5 says:
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted chapters of the Bible, and the most quoted chapter at funerals. Spurgeon said about Psalm 23:
The position of this psalm is worthy of notice. It follows the twenty-second, which is peculiarly the Psalm of the Cross. There are no green pastures, no still waters on the other side of the twenty-second psalm. It is only after we have read, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that we come to “The Lord is my Shepherd.” We must by experience know the value of blood-shedding, and see the sword awakened against the Shepherd, before we shall be able truly to know the Sweetness of the good Shepherd’s care.
I had never noticed that it followed the Psalm of the Cross. I love how Spurgeon noticed it though. We only have this overabundance, all of these blessings, because Christ paid the ultimate penalty for our sins on the cross. That blessing in and of itself makes our cups overflow!
I am focusing on verse 5 for my devotional. Verses 1-4 talk about the Shepherd’s care, but we see a shift in verse 5. Here we see our Shepherd as a banquet host. Chuck Smith had a great commentary on verse 5:
Here God is seen as a banquet host. He takes care of us in overflowing love.
God is just really a great host. He is a gracious host. He takes care of you fabulously. Preparing a table before you, anointing your head with oil, causing your cup to overflow. The glorious overflowing life of the child of God. “If any man thirsts,” Jesus cried, “let him come to Me and drink. And he who drinks of the water that I give, out of his innermost being, there will gush torrents of living water” (John 7:37-38). The cup will overflow.
The New English Translation reads this way:
You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full.
Isn’t that wonderful! God doesn’t take away our enemies. He doesn’t promise a life full of ease and no hardships. But He promises to be enough — more than enough. He promises to refresh us in the midst of the troubles, in the middle of the battle.
The host’s care and concern doesn’t eliminate the presence of my enemies, but enables the experience of God’s goodness and bounty even in their midst. David Guzik
Nothing is hurried, there is no confusion, no disturbance, the enemy is at the door, and yet God prepares a table, and the Christian sits down and eats as if everything were in perfect peace. Oh! the peace which Jehovah gives to his people, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances! Spurgeon
When I first thought about the topic, I thought about the words “running over.” How does water run over a cup?
Obviously, too much is poured in and so some has to run over. So how does our cup run over? We have to let God pour into us so it can spill over. Whatever we put in is what will spill over — if enough is poured in. So we must continue to pour God and His Word into our heart and life so that He can spill over out of our life onto those around us.
The next thought I had was, “God promises to have our cup spill over when we feast at His table. Do I feast at His table?”
Do I keep my thoughts centered on the blessings He has given me that spill over into my life every day or do I focus on the challenges and the hardships? Whatever I think about is what is going to spill out of my mouth and affect my attitude.
Tuesday, I went to my daughters’ co-op classes. All I have to do is sit in the classes and do something if the teacher asks me to help. Usually, they don’t need me to help, so I bring my computer and get work done. I was looking at commentaries on Psalm 23. When I left the class, the teacher gave me a gift as it was our last day of co-op for the year. I went home and opened it, and look at what she gave me.
I thought this went perfectly with the cup running over theme. It’s a cup — and the more we put into it, the more the cup will overflow. Am I, every day, finding ways to praise God for what He has done for me? If I do, those praises will overflow out of my life. I won’t be a critical, fault-finding, mean-spirited person. It’s impossible if God’s praises are filling my life so much so that they are running over and out onto those around me.
There are many ways you can be strategic about counting your blessings and praising God for what He has done for you. Probably the easiest way is to every day, when you wake up, praise God before you even get out of bed.
Ann Voskamp has a very unique writing style (and some don’t like it), but her book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, focuses on every day writing down a few things you can be thankful for that day. They may be small — but God gives us gifts every day. She shares how even in terrible situations that happened in her life or how even during her trying days, God gave her things for which she could be thankful because of Christ and what He had done for her.
In the summary of her book on Amazon, it says, “In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — by God.”
With this love, our cup runs over!
Ann Voskamp talks about 1,000 gifts that we can easily find if we just write down a couple every day, but I also like how the song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) starts off by saying that every new day should start off by praising God, and that we can find 10,000 reasons to bless His name.
Sing like never before, Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name
Whatever may pass, And whatever lies before me, Let me be singing, When the evening comes
You’re rich in love, And You’re slow to anger, Your name is great
And Your heart is kind, For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons, For my heart to find
And on that day, When my strength is failing, The end draws near
And my time has come, Still my soul will, Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years, And then forevermore
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