The Song of Eternity – Psalm 23 – Part 4

Title: The Song of Eternity - Psalm 23 - Part 4

Bible Book: Psalms 23 : 5-6

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Heaven; Eternity; Eternal Security; Peace


The Song of Eternity  - Psalm 23 - Part 4

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Psalm 23:5-6

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs 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

This is the fourth and final message in a series of messages on Psalm 23. The series is entitled, A Song for all Seasons. We come today to the last two verses of this Psalm. I am convinced that the passage found in verses 5 and 6 of the 23rd Psalm speak of eternity with God. I think you will see that too as the explanation of these verses unfolds in the next few moments. So far we have seen three portions of this great Psalm:

i. The Song of Serenity - verse 1

ii. The Song of Recovery – Verse 2, 3

iii. The Song of Security - verse 4

Now, in the verses before us we are looking forward to what has been promised to us. Actually, it is something Jesus purchased for us and we have His assurance that it is already ours – we are just waiting to experience it. Look at some important points about heaven in these verses.

I. The Preparation in Heaven

These verses speak of the preparation going on in heaven for us while we are still here on this earth. Most thoughts about heaven involve what it will be like when we get there, or what it is like now for our loved ones. David took another interesting approach to heaven. He pointed out what God is doing to get ready for us. Jesus did this as well. You remember, no doubt, John 14:1-6. How wonderful that He has gone to prepare a place for us.

A. The Table

“He prepares a table…”

Throughout the Bible eating was important and often signifies spiritual truths and theological precepts.

Jesus fed the 5,000, and in so doing He revealed the power He had to provide the needs of mankind. This showed the compassion on people who were in need. Beyond this, Jesus was showing Himself as the Bread of Life for the souls who come to Him. Yes, the people at that amazing outdoor meal largely missed the point, but that does not diminish the importance of the message Jesus delivered.

Jesus celebrated a meal with His disciples before He was arrested. in the Upper Room. Our Lord used the Passover to preach that He is the Passover Lamb. It is His blood that delivers, and He instituted a meal of bread and wine that we are to repeat as an act of commitment to Him and confidence in the fact that one day we will take part in a Lord's Supper in heaven.

After Peter had denied the Lord, Jesus rose from the grave and fed him fish by the seashore. He was showing Peter and the disciples that they were truly to be fisher's of men. He also embraced Peter by forgiving him of failure when the Lord was in the hands of the enemy. Furthermore, he called Peter to recommitment as a devoted servant. All of this surrounded a meal of fish after Jesus was risen from the dead.

If we began to study all the teachings and revelations from God surrounding meals in the Bible, we would need quite some time to do so.

Just know that David was inspired to write about a table the Shepherd was preparing before him after a victory of traveling through The vally of the shadow of death.

Our demonic enemies may rejoice at our trials and even our failures, but God promises that we will sit down at a table the Lord spreads before us one day in the future. We are told that we will eat the wedding supper with the Lord in heaven. How wonderful - Jesus will gird Himself and feed us with sweet manna all around.

At normal mealtimes we usually just grab the dishes and put them on the table, but when someone special is coming, we get out our best china and prepare it ahead of time. God is working on the table for you, even while you are here on earth facing His enemies everyday.

Preacher James, the wonderful retired preacher in our congregation, told me of an incident in a revival he preached out in a country church many years ago. As they sat down to eat, the little boy at the table said, “Don’t break them dishes, mamma borrowed them.” I am sure the mother had been warning the little fellow not to break the dishes and lad was merely telling the preacher what he had been hearing. The woman of the house had been preparing for the company. She borrowed china from a friend because she felt her everyday dishes were not appropriate for the preacher. Oh, thank God, Jesus will bring out heaven's best when He comes to take us home. God is getting down heaven’s best china for you! What a comfort for us as we live here in this world.

B. The Oil

“He anoints my head with oil…”

In Biblical days, people would keep a jar of perfumed oil next to the door to welcome the guests who arrived. As the guest came in, the oil would be placed on the head of the honored guest. All through the meal the oil would continue to give off a wonderful scent of welcome and love to the people who were present.

God has already poured out His Spirit upon us, but on that day He will anoint us with the sweet oil of the Spirit in heaven. What an aroma we will enjoy around His table in heaven. There is no way to describe the joy we will feel in those moments to come.

Often oil is linked in the Bible with joy. What joy we shall experience – joy unspeakable and full of glory when the precious oil of the Great Shepherd is placed on us in heaven.

C. The Cup

“My cup runs over…”

The overflowing cup has special meaning. In bible times they did not have motels and hotels and There were no Burger Kings or McDonalds where a person could stop and get something to eat. Inns were dirty, immoral and expensive. I heard somewhere that it was a custom in those days for people to feed a stranger if he passed by while travelling. However, if it was not convenient for the stranger to stay overnight, the host had a way of letting the stranger know that. The host would pour a cup of milk or water for the traveler, but would not fill it to the top. That meant that the stranger was to keep moving. But, if the traveller was to be a guest in the home, the host would pour the cup so full that it overflowed. That meant the guest could stay and remain. God has invited you to stay with Him. He has poured our cup till it overflows.

Yes, my cup runneth over! As He gives, He does so freely.

God is not stingy.

John 10:10 - abundantly!

Not only does He add years to our lives, He adds life to our years.

When Jesus fed the 5,000, there were 12 baskets of leftover Joy.

The prodigal son came home to a meal - not a chicken, but a fattened calf. God always prepares the best.

A woman went to the bank to deposit money. The teller counted the money several times. The woman said, “Isn’t it all there?” The teller looked up and replied, “Just is!”

Just is? O, God never does just enough! He does more than we can think or ask.

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see,

When I look upon His face,

The One who saved me by His grace.

He will take me by the hand,

And lead me to the Promised Land,

What a day, wonderful day that will be!

II. The Plan before Heaven

Something else is going on in heaven which affects me directly in the here and now. God is working a plan in my behalf. This plan involves two important characteristics.

A. The Goodness of God Chases Me

The word for “goodness” in the text means that which is good for me. The word “follow” means to chase aggressively. God’s good purposes are chasing me everywhere I go. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite Bible verses. Only God can make all things to work together for good in our loves.

B. The Grace of God Chases Me

Secondly, the mercy and grace of God follow me. This is important. I know that God’s grace came to me at Calvary, but what about those things I have done to disappoint and displease the Lord since I was saved? God’s mercy follows me and cleans up the mess I leave behind. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

III. The Permanence of Heaven

Finally, David points out that heaven is no temporary residence. We shall dwell there FOREVER. Nothing is forever on this earth. Sometimes we experience a wonderful moment and say, “I wish everything could stay just like this forever.” That never happens on this earth. Everything is always changing but God promises a place where it will be just right forever.

A. The Comfort

The word “dwell” comes from the Hebrew word for “sit down in a comfortable position.” Heaven will be a comfortable place!

B. The Company

We will be with the Owner of the House. It is the House of the Lord and the Lord of the House will always be in residence. We will dwell with all the redeemed. Angels, prophets, and saints of all ages will be there.

C. The Constancy

This is a forever place. This is hard for our minds to conceive. Everything here on earth is dying. All things here are winding down. In Heaven that is not the case, nor will it ever be.

Sheep always wander. Here and there they are led. They keep moving. We are not to settle down here on this earth. Hebrews 11:8 reminds us that Abraham sojourned, he did not settle. Abraham was looking for city whose builder and maker is God! You and I are not home, but we are headed home. Let’s keep moving for Jesus - lets keep walking with Jesus. The day will come when we can settle down in heaven, I don't mean that we will sit in heaven and do nothing. On the contrary, we will serve Him in ways we cannot now imagine. The difference will be that we will never grow tired, never cease in joyful worship and never face death again.


Scheduled to speak in Philadelphia at the Town Hall, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen decided to walk from his hotel even though he was unfamiliar with the city. Sure enough, he got lost and was forced to ask some boys to direct him to his destination. One of them asked Sheen, “What are you going to do there?'”

“I'm going to give a lecture,” Sheen responded.

“About what?" the boy asked.

“On how to get to heaven. Would you care to come along?”

“Are you kidding,” the boy said with determination, “you don't even know how to get to Town Hall!” [The Executive Speechwriter Newsletter, Jan 1994. Page 6.]

Do you know how to get to heaven? Jesus is the Way! He has given us His promise that all who believe upon Him, who also turn from their sin and trust Him fully, will enjoy a home in heaven. Accept Him now and make your reservations for heaven. We are on our way to glory. He has prepared a place for those who trust Him as Lord and Savior now and for eternity. 

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