Psalm 23 is an incredible source of comfort for the believer. It makes a number of strong statements of relief and provision. In the context of preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies and anointing my head with oil, the psalmist declares that the Lord also causes our cups to overflow.
Referring to that overflowing cup, J. Vernon McGee once wrote, “It reminds me of the little girl who said, ‘Lord, fill my cup. I can’t hold very much, but I can run over a whole lot.’”
Our emotional, physical and spiritual capacity is definitely limited, but the Lord’s certainly isn’t!
The Hebrew word for “runneth over” is a noun that means to be in a state of abundance. It only occurs one other time in the Old Testament, in Psalm 66. There the writer is stating that the Lord brought His people out of Egypt into a “running over” or saturated place. We often refer to that Promised Land as the land flowing with milk and honey (see Ex. 3:8, Lev. 20:24). He was providing much more than they needed.
A New Testament parallel might be found in Ephesians 3:20 where God is described as being able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
Overflowing…running over…immeasurably more than we can ask for…these are all a verbal reflection of the amount of grace God wants to shed upon all our hearts and our situations.
So, if you are faced with a tall financial mountain to climb this week or have a wide relational river to cross, just remember that God chose to express His goodness to us by using the imagery of a simple cup overflowing.
Step over to the kitchen sink. Grab a coffee mug. Turn the water on and let it run. Pretty soon the cup will be over flowing. That will be a great moment to stop and thank the Lord for His immeasurable grace!