“My Cup Overflows”

Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III signing a marriage license after a wedding

All this week I have been sharing my thoughts on the 23rd Psalm, verse by verse.  Today we move toward its conclusion:

Psalms 23: 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. [1]

David, the shepherd rejoices and reflects upon the blessing of his life-long relationship with God:

Psalm 23: 1   The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2        He makes me lie down in green pastures;

he leads me beside still waters;

3        he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths

for his name’s sake.

4     Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil;

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff—

they comfort me. [2]  (Psalm 23)

In other words, the Lord has directed him, fed him, gave him water to drink, protected him in the “Valley of the shadow of death,” and led in the “right paths.”  To be “Anointed oil” and to have the “Cup overflows” is David’s way of saying that the blessings of God keep coming.

I can relate to the image of the “Cup overflows” because I feel like the Lord continues to bless me.  In my weakness God has made me strong.  In my hurry, God has shown me patience.  In my unsettled moments, God has shown me inner and outer peace.  When I am tempted to be sad, the Lord has caused me to laugh.  The “Cup that overflows” is an analogy to a life of continuous blessings, mercy and grace.  I encourage you to take another look at your life and count your blessings.  If your cup does not seem to overflow with blessings, I encourage you ask yourself, “Why?”  Has God withheld from me, or have I withheld from God?  Is my cup half -full, or is it overflowing with goodness and mercy?  Am I too stuck in my own ways to appreciate the fullness of the blessing of God?


Questions for Reflection:

  1. What image comes to your mind when you read verse five of Psalm 23, “…My cup overflows…”?
  2. How could you apply this verse to modern life?



Make my cup to overflow, Lord!  From the beginning to the end of my life, bless me with your loving kindness, ever flowing mercy and all-encompassing love.  If it is not asking too much, Lord, overflow my cup with blessings.  In my poverty, overflow my cup with wealth.  Where I am ignorant, overflow my cup with fresh insight.  Where I am cocky and proud, overflow my cup with genuine humility.  Through the four walls of my loneliness, overflow my cup with new friendships. Show me how to share.  Teach me to listen. Overflow my cup with your mercy.  Teach me to grow in your grace.  Overflow me with joy.  Overflow my cup with a life of fulfillment and satisfaction.  Overflow my cup with sensitivity and care for the poor.  Overflow my cup with a better understanding of the rich.  Most of all, overflow my cup with faith and love.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Nicholas Hood III a www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 23:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 23:1–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.