My Cup Runs Over

The Psalmist said of our Lord, “He leads me beside still water,” and “my cup runs over” (Psalm 23:2 & 5).

The still water spoken of is not that depicted by a slow flowing fresh water stream, nor a pond.

In the Bible Land it rains only parts of three months. The rest of the time the land is barren and dry. The flocks need water. To provide it the good shepherd finds a pocket in the earth and lines it with limestone making it a cistern. He then goes out on the side of the hill and gathers stones he uses to make a large “V” with the tip leading right into the cistern. When it rains the water flows into his cistern. Water kept out of light and open air remains fresh almost indefinitely. This water was called “still water.”

As a good shepherd always has in store what the sheep need long before the sheep need it, so the Good Shepherd has in store for His sheep what they need long before they need it.

The shepherd then finds a boulder and hews it out making it a trough, a cup. He drew the water from the cistern and poured it into the cup for the sheep to drink. They crowd around taking turns. They are so crowded the shepherd can’t see his feet. He continues to pour until his feet feel wet. Then he knows his cup is running over. 

So our Good Shepherd not only has in store for His sheep what they need, but before they need it, He provides abundantly. He is the “Shepherd of the Overflowing Cup.”