The Psalm 23 Adventure, Part 50
July 28, 2017
Today we shift gears to the next
phase of this adventure – and this is no less important to our development in
Christ than any of the previous stages.
Perhaps one of the least understood facets in the way that David
expresses himself in the 23rd Psalm, his statement that “My cup
runneth over,” uses phraseology that is long lost in modern speech.
uses a common Hebrew metaphor here. We
see the use of the cup mentioned some 59 times throughout the Word, and it has
both literal and metaphorical usage. The
significance of this statement coming right after “Thou
anointest my head with oil” cannot be over-emphasized so let’s take a look at how
this word and phraseology gets used throughout the Word. Let’s lay some foundations first before we
consider how the cup running over applies to us.
William Gesenius, in his Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, tells us that the use of the
cup in numerous instances is meant to describe one’s lot in life, the
circumstances in which they find themselves, or a set of events that have just
occurred in one’s experiences, or events which are about to take place for
them. He cites several scriptures as
examples of this usage:
Psalm 11:6: Upon the wicked shall
He rain, snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the
portion of their cup.
Psalm 16:5: The Lord is the
portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot.
Jesus’ answer to the disciples when they were wrangling over who was going to
sit next to Him on the Throne in the Kingdom.
Matthew 20:22-23: But Jesus
answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup
that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized
with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink
indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but
to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall
be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
we see the example in Jesus’ prayer when He prays,
Matthew 26:39: And he went a
little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
we get too far along in these examples (and I’ve got some more for you to look
at) take a look at this first example in the Psalms that Gesenius uses in
making the point that the use of the cup is frequently a metaphor for one’s lot
writes prophetically of the judgment that God will heap upon Israel’s
enemies. He describes woe after woe with
increasing intensity on those who will take out their hatred and vengeance on
Israel, and upon God’s chosen people.
The phrase he uses when he writes, “this shall be the
portion of their cup,”
literally describes a constant state of affairs that will befall them. He is saying that this will be the way they
will be living out their lives in the future.
contrast, take a look at Isaiah’s prophecy to Israel, who have experienced some
of the woes that have been promised to the enemy.
Isaiah 51:17-23: Awake, awake,
stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his
fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them
out. There is none to guide her
among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any
that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry
for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom
shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have
fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they
are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore, hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not
with wine: Thus
saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth
the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of
trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more
drink it again:
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which
have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy
body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
fascinating metaphoric picture, isn’t it?
Israel gets a reversal of this “cup of fury” along with the promise that
“thou shalt no more drink it again.”
we cited David’s statement that, “The Lord is the
portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot.”
how this amplifies out of the Hebrew.
I have made the Lord to be my complete inheritance, my life, the
reason for my living (and I have no other); and, as a result, He has set my
future in place and maintains my destiny.
16:5, RAC Translation & Amplification)
me pause here to share a personal experience which mirrors David’s statement.
father passed away on Good Friday of 1986.
He left a will with specific instructions for Della and me concerning
the ongoing and future ministry at Saint Paul Island. He also put me in charge of the entire family
estate with instructions to take care of my mother, whose financial abilities
and wisdom were somewhat lacking. (I’m
being careful here.)
will was kept from me for reasons I won’t even try to go into. My mother lived for another 14 years and
passed away on September 29, 2000. We
learned that she had been enticed to give both the home and the church and the
property at Saint Paul Island to the denomination, and it took place while she
was on her death bed at the hospital.
and I were given three weeks to clear out the family belongings and vacate the
home and property at Saint Paul Island by the denomination. I came across the will Dad had left while
going through his papers and realized the depth of the deception and trickery
that had taken place, and the theft of the inheritance Dad had left for my
brother and me.
I say that I was steaming, that would be an understatement! Della saw my distress and would pat me on the back and say, “Honey, just let it go.” That was easier said than done! She was extremely upset with the entire set
of events that had unfolded as well, but she had been able to keep her spirit
day as I was walking through the living room of the home at Saint Paul — the
same home I had helped my father build — my spirit was literally aflame. The Lord spoke to me in that moment and said
to me, “Son, I’m your inheritance!
I’m your future! I will take care
of your inheritance to come.”
just wept. His words melted me. The steam was gone. From that moment forward, I was at
peace. Sharing it with Della changed our
entire atmosphere, both naturally and spiritually, and we were able to complete
the cleanup in peace. We were able to
release the future of Saint Paul and my folks’ ministry there to the Lord and
let Him bring things to the fruition He had purposed from the beginning.
remembered my conversation with Dad when he was on his deathbed. He had said to me, “Son, I’m sorry that I
don’t have more of an inheritance to leave you.” My answer to him was, “Dad, you don’t ever
have to apologize. I have an inheritance
and a heritage in God passed on to me that money can’t buy.”
proof of those words the Lord spoke to me has manifested time and time again in
the years that have followed, and we have seen a provision of the Lord, along
with a path and a destiny in Him that made that inheritance pale by comparison.
come back to Jesus’ prayer in the Garden and the significance of what was
unfolding as He says,
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless,
not as I will, but as thou wilt.
He saying? “Father, I know that my
destiny from the beginning has been to redeem the human race from the curse
that came upon them with Adam’s sin.
That destiny means that I’m facing torture, crucifixion and death. If there’s any other way for this to be
accomplished, make it so! Nevertheless,
I put my flesh and the thoughts of the impending torture and crucifixion aside
and I yield to Your Will, and Your Plan — established from before time began.”
clearly understood that his “cup” — established before Creation — was to redeem
the human race. He knew that, despite
the perfection of Creation at the beginning, and despite the fact that Adam and
Eve would be created in His image (along with Father and Holy Spirit), they
would be deceived by Satan — the Serpent — and that the intimacy, previously
established and walked in, would be lost.
His “cup” was to do everything necessary to bridge the gulf between them
and God. His “cup” was to cut off the
curse of death that had befallen the human race and restore eternity.
knew from childhood what His destiny was.
still had to grow up as normal man, experience the feelings, the emotions and
the infirmities that fallen man experiences.
There had to be the transition between His “normal” life and the
supernatural walk in the Spirit with the anointing that would empower Him to
display the normal life in God that we were created for. He had to call and disciple men who would
become the extension of Who He is and begin spreading that same life throughout
far, Jesus had partaken of the “cup” given to Him at birth. But there was still a bit more to drink of
this “cup.” Unless He finished drinking
of this “cup,” Holy Spirit could not come.
The disciples could never walk in their callings nor be anointed to
function apostolically or prophetically or evangelistically, etc., unless Holy
Spirit endued them with that same power and authority that Jesus has. He had to finish drinking of the “cup.” That was the Will of Father from before time
began. And Jesus resigned Himself to
finish drinking so that we could all experience and have access to the
supernatural life we were created for.
take this discussion on one more track before we get to the “cup running over”
experience David describes.
remember Joseph’s experience in the prison in Egypt when he had the
interpretation of the two dreams — the one of Pharaoh’s butler, and the other
of Pharaoh’s baker.
Genesis 40:9-11: And the chief
butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was
before me; And
in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and
her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh’s cup was
in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I
gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
the Lord gave Joseph the interpretation which was that within three days, the
chief butler would be restored to his place of service, and that he would
deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand.
The chief butler, in this instance, is very much like Nehemiah, who was
cupbearer to Artaxerxes. We’ll talk
about that more momentarily.)
40:16-17: When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he
said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had
three white baskets on my head: And in the uppermost
basket there was of all manner of bake-meats for Pharaoh; and the birds
did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
again, Joseph gives the interpretation and tells the chief baker that within
three days, Pharaoh would hang him and the birds would eat his flesh.
what are we getting at? Again, the cup
signifies life. The fact that the chief
butler is restored to his position as cup-bearer means that his life, his
position and esteem in Pharaoh’s court and his future were restored to him.
brings us to Nehemiah. Nehemiah, as you
know, was the cup-bearer to Xerxes’ son, who was also the son of Esther. Artaxerxes (or Artaxerxes Longimanus, as he
is known historically) came to the throne at the tender age of 14 when his
father was assassinated. Esther became
the guiding force behind his throne for many years, and it was at her guidance
that Nehemiah was appointed to become cup-bearer. (Esther, incidentally, as Queen Mother, was
also the guiding force behind the king’s approval for Ezra’s return to rebuild
the temple in Jerusalem years later.)
cup-bearer, historically, held life and death in his hand. Before the king would drink of any cup, the
cup-bearer had to first taste of it. If
the king’s enemies had placed poison in the cup, the cup-bearer would die and
the king’s life would be saved. If the
cup-bearer suffered no ill after partaking of the cup, he would hand it to the
king, who knew that he could safely drink of it. That cup became the representation of life
and/or death. One’s future and destiny
was secure as long as there was life in the cup.
that brings us to David’s expression when he writes, “My
cup runneth over.”
what has just taken place. We’ve just
experienced the extraordinary — and I do mean, the extraordinary — in the event
we’ve just talked about for the past weeks, “Thou anointest my
head with oil.”
commissioning has taken place akin to that Jesus experienced when He came up
out of the water after John had baptized him.
A radical change of life unfolded for Jesus from that moment forth. The anointing was tested, to be sure, but
from the moment He told Satan to “Get thee hence,” angels came and ministered
to Him. Jesus had access to those angels
on a 24-hour basis from then on. You
only have to think about what He said when He was on trial, as well as when He
hung on the Cross.
Sorry to leave you hanging, but this is
where we will pick it up next week.
For those of you
who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call,
we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and
continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break
for the summer. We’ve found during the
past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months
drops significantly because of folks taking their vacations, and being involved
in other activities. That said, we will
resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our
Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about
10:45AM Pacific. That conference number
is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings
available by Skype. If you wish to
participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial
(712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in
later. The video call, of course, is not
recorded – not yet, anyway.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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