Honored Guest At The Feast (psalm 23:5) - The One Year Book of Psalms

Honored Guest At The Feast (Psalm 23:5)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1The LORD is my shepherd;

I have everything I need.

2He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

4Even when I walk

through the dark valley of death,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

5You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You welcome me as a guest,

anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the LORD


In this verse, the imagery of Psalm 23 shifts. No longer is the psalmist a sheep grazing on a verdant hillside. Now he is a guest of honor at a sumptuous feast.

Feasts are a frequent theme in Scripture. Matthew threw a banquet for Jesus and his disciples, with enemies (the Pharisees) standing outside. The Pharisees’ said to the disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” (Mark 2:16).

Later in the Gospels a Pharisee invites Jesus to a banquet (Luke 7:36) but neglects to anoint his head with oil. Instead an immoral woman comes and anoints Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50).

Another banquet is mentioned in the Song of Songs. Here the young woman says, “He brings me to the banquet hall, so everyone can see how much he loves me” (Song of Songs 2:4).

In Psalm 23 the Good Shepherd invites us “scum” to his banquet to show how much he loves us, and instead of us anointing his head with oil, he anoints ours! If we look at the requirements for entering God’s presence in Psalm 15, we may think that we are excluded—and we would be if it were up to us. But what a joy it is to know that God has invited us to his banquet and made us honored guests! Our cup truly overflows with blessings!

In the midst of affliction my table is spread

With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o’er;

With perfume and oil thou anointest my head,

Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?


Check out the feast in Isaiah 25:6-8. How does that feast compare with the one described in Psalm 23:5?

“Sin finds its master in grace. The big thing can be buried in the bigger thing. And divine grace is the only bigger thing that can ever be found.”


From the Book:

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The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

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