Seeking Comfort? Look No Further Than Psalm 23
“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.” – Psalm 23:6
Psalm 23 is an absolutely beautiful piece of Scripture that you may have heard recited at funerals. That is no surprise because it is a crucial reminder that God is the only one who can walk with us through death’s dark valley and bring us safely to the other side.
When focusing on verses 5 and 6 of the Psalm, it helps if we gain a little bit of historical context. In ancient Middle Eastern culture, at a feast or banquet, it was customary to anoint guests with a very fragrant oil as mentioned in verse 5. The hosts of the feast were also expected to protect their guests at all costs, no matter what. So why did God choose to use this imagery of a banquet in Psalm 23?
Just like a host used to protect their guests, our mighty God offers protection even when enemies are surrounding us on all sides. He protects us in the darkest valley and promises that we will dwell with Him forever.
Verse 6 speaks specifically about this when it says that believers “will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The word “dwell” literally means to live in a place for a long time. I don’t know about you, but dwelling with the Lord forever sounds like a pretty good idea to me!
God, our perfect shepherd and the ultimate host, made a promise to guide us, to protect us throughout our entire lives, and one day, on that glorious day, to welcome us as His special guests in His house…forever.