A generous host

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5(b)

A good dinner party is one which provides ample food and drink. If, as you drive home from an evening at a friend’s house, you find yourself looking for a drive through McDonald’s to grab a burger, or a service station to pick up a drink, you know the evening did not go particularly well. If you leave feeling well fed, and having had enough to drink, you know that it was a great evening; your host has looked after you well. This reflects very well on the relationship between you and your host. If you left hungry and thirsty, the chances are that your host does not really care about you that much!

There’s no chance that you will be left wanting at God’s house, however! He thinks the world of you, and cares for you greatly, and will ensure that he looks after you. At the dinner party described in Psalm 23, the diner’s cup overflows; there is more drink laid on than can possibly be drunk. God provides for all his people, and provides in abundance. This is not a stingy God who holds back blessings from his people, but a generous God who lavishes them upon those who love him.

One of those blessings, which would have had more resonance in the Old Testament, is God’s anointing of his guests. Throughout the Bible, anointing by oil is undertaken to symbolise the purification and healing of those in need of God’s love. It is also used to anoint people for God’s service. The guest at the Lord’s table is, therefore, cleansed and healed, but also marked out for the service of God. This is a mark of the confidence that God puts in us all. Just as the kings of the Old Testament were anointed to confirm their role as servants of the Lord, so we too are annointed as his agents in the world today. He loves us, trusts us, and has given us a special place in his plans for the world.

Today, then, give thanks to God for his generous provision to us all, and ask him to guide you as you seek to honour him for his annointing.

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