Friday, October 1, 2021

 Psalm 23 

Part 6 - continued

By Vicky Moots

Psalm 23:5c: “…my cup runneth over.” A cup will run over if it is overfilled or if someone intentionally just keeps pouring into it even after it is full. A full cup will also run over if someone bumps into it. An overflowing cup would indicate an abundant, more-than-sufficient, endless supply. This cup is probably referring to a cup of wine and would therefore represent a cup of joy and blessing. 

David said in Ps. 16:11, “…in thy presence is fullness of joy…”. Our cup of joy is full in spite of the circumstances, even in the valley of the shadow of death, even in the presence of our enemies, just because we are in His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy. If you do not feel His joy, then you need to spend time in prayer and in His Word and enter into His presence.

Jesus spoke words of comfort and joy to His disciples on His way to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane in John 15:11: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” He wanted to fill their cup and our cup with His joy. The Amplified Version of the New Testament says it this way: “That your joy and gladness may be full measure and complete and overflowing.” That is definitely a cup that runneth over! 

That joy is a special joy because it is His joy. His joy becomes our joy. Peter calls it “…joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Pet. 1:8). The joy that He pours into us is so incredible that there are not even words in human speech to describe it or to explain it. It is truly “unspeakable.”

The amazing thing is that even though Jesus and His disciples were soon to face a time of extreme sorrow, yet He was speaking to them at that time about joy, a divine joy that would overflow more than their tears could flow. The joy that He was giving them through His Word was a joy that could not be destroyed or held prisoner in a tomb any more than He could.

Jesus said to them, “These things have I spoken unto you.” That means His Word. His Word is still speaking to us today and filling us with His joy to help us in times of sorrow, if we are willing to listen. We need to read His Word and let it speak to us and fill us with His joy. How powerful is His joy? As powerful as His Word! By His Word He created the heaven and the earth.

There is another scripture that speaks of the power of His joy, the joy that the Lord possessed and with which He fills our cup. Paul stated in Heb. 12:2, “…who [Jesus] for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”. This meant that Jesus was able to endure the suffering of the cross because He looked beyond it to the joy, the reward, that He would receive. Not only would His suffering and death provide salvation for us, but in return, He would experience the joy of having a bride to reign with Him for eternity.

This is somewhat similar to the way in which a woman endures the discomfort of pregnancy and the pangs of childbirth as she looks forward to the joy of being able to hold her newborn baby. The joy that the Lord gives us enables us to endure hardships and difficult circumstances that we would not otherwise be able to face.

A cup that is full will spill out even more if it is bumped. The cup of joy that we have received will spill out in times of trouble for others to see, so that even through our trials, as we are knocked around, we can become testimonies of the goodness of the Lord, as the joy spills out instead of anger. 

The overflowing cup of wine described by David in Ps. 23:5 is also a picture of the Holy Spirit with which we are to be filled. Paul tells us in Eph. 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. The joy of the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, is also intoxicating and will even control our actions and our speech as we are under its influence. 

The word “filled” in this verse, in the Greek, is a continuous action verb in present tense, so it means to be continuously filling to overflowing. Thus, our cup keeps on overflowing as the Lord continuously pours the Spirit into us, so that the Holy Spirit not only fills our cup but begins to flow out of us like rivers of Living Water. Jesus promised this in John 7:38-39: “…out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the spirit which they that believe on him should receive…)”. We are to be so full of the Spirit that others cannot help but be blessed as they are splashed by the overflow of our cup.

If you are feeling down and depressed, then perhaps you need to ask the Lord to help you empty your cup of yourself and the worries and cares of this life with which it has become filled, so that He can pour His joy into you. Even David who wrote this Psalm, went through a time of discouragement and felt no joy. But he knew the source of joy, so he cried out to the Lord in Ps. 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…”. When David turned his problems over to the Lord, he was able to empty his cup and let the Shepherd fill it to overflowing so that he could shout, with joy, “My cup runneth over!” So, let us do the same and join him in his rejoicing.

To be continued