My cup runneth over

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Psalm 23

For many it’s their favourite “King James” phrase.  Yet, as far as I can tell, it was the Geneva Bible of 1587 that first gave us this wonderful wording:

My cup runneth over.”  (Psalm 23:5)

Here is the expectation of the Messiah as He faces “the valley of the shadow of death.”  He will come through to victory and feasting at the LORD’s table.  He will be publicly vindicated, anointed and His cup will run over (read Psalm 23).

This gives us two sources of confidence:

First, the Messiah’s life and blessings have a super-abundant quality.  They spill over in excess.  If we would seek His vindication, His anointing, His place at the feast, then we can take comfort that He has more than enough blessing to go around.  Christ has not won His victory for Himself alone – His cup runneth over.  And His blessings are not dished out with a teaspoon.  Rather, as John declares “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”  (John 1:16)

Second, Psalm 23 lets us in on a calculation that Christ made as He faced “the valley of the shadow”.  He weighed the darkness of the valley against the cascading fullness of the LORD’s blessings.  And in Christ’s estimation, the overflowing cup was worth the dark and dreadful valley.

If that’s Christ’s estimation then we can be sure that whatever valley we face, the vindication will make it worthwhile.  Even Christ’s cross was worth it for the sake of the feast.  How much more will our little crosses and sufferings be made to seem trifling in comparison with the weight of glory in store for us?  (2 Corinthians 4:17)

As Martin Luther has said:

“If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world. If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced, not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall also say: “O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the merit of Christ!”

Christ’s cup overflows to us.  And through Him even our cup will overflow.

Therefore even the darkest valley will be worth it.

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