Enemies & Oil

*originally written February 25, 2019

Week 19: Enemies & Oil

Psalm 23 has been heavily on my mind for the last couple of weeks. I thought I’d write about it in last week’s #LibraryThoughts, and it didn’t end up happening. So here I am, another week later and can’t get it off my mind.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

There is a project, well, there are two projects actually, that were done by various contemporary Christian artists several years ago; Glory Revealed and Glory Revealed II. The songs are words straight out of scripture and set to music. The artists gathered together in a cabin in the mountains and basically had a big jam session to create these albums. The words were already written, but which ones would they choose? After all, there are 66 books, 1189 chapters, and 31,102 verses in the Bible. That’s a lot of material to work with, and Psalm 23 made the cut on Glory Revealed II. I’ve worn out several copies of the CD, so I was thrilled to find it on Pandora and listen to it over and over. Wow…this is long already.

I’ve been particularly focused on verse 5. I’ve not been exactly sure why. In the past the “preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies” part hasn’t been a focus for me. So why is it now? I’m not aware of any particular beef between myself and someone I would consider an enemy. I have always been fascinated with the “anoint my head with oil” part. Oil has been a big part of my life lately, but anointing with oil isn’t something I grew up with. Years ago I was on a mission trip in Mexico where I first saw the anointing of oil used in a very real way. That experience stayed with me.

As the idea for this post was knocking around in my head I remembered I had made a graphic with the anointing of oil on it. It was not saved on my phone. I then remembered that I may have used the hashtag #mycupoverflows, so I searched and found it. Lo and behold! I had used verse 5 in its entirety. So cool.

I’m the furthest thing from a Bible scholar. I could probably do some research to find out what the experts have to say about it, but I can’t help wondering about the proximity of the two thoughts…preparing a table before me…The Lord preparing a table before me…in the presence of my enemies….and anointing my head with oil….my cup overflows. Wow! And my eyelids overflow. They are spilling over right now in the library. For what am I being prepared?

Nineteen weeks ago I sat in the library and spilled some of my heart onto a fb post. For whatever reason it has become a thing. I usually have a general idea of what I want to write about, but it never ends up being what I expected. As this thought process has meandered, I’ve come up with another word to add to a list of words that have been meaningful to me lately. I literally have them saved on a note in my phone…


Today I will add PREPARE.

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