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"My Cup Runneth Over"
The Superlatives of Grace.
We are allowing ourselves a certain amount of liberty in the application of the
wording of Scripture in this series of articles, our primary object being to minister some
word of comfort and strength rather than give a straight exposition of any particular
The Psalmist's words, "My cup runneth over", make us think of some of the
superlatives that are associated with grace in the New Testament, and to the passages
which thus speak we would turn the reader's attention, as a kind of triumphant contrast to
the valley of the shadow. A "cup" in the Scriptures is used not only in its primary sense,
as in Gen. 40: 2 "Pharaoh's cup", but in a number of passages it is used in a figurative
sense. We read of "the cup of salvation", "the cup of consolation", "the cup of
trembling", "the cup of astonishment" and "the cup of fury". We remember, too, the
dreadful significance of the "cup" which the Saviour was willing to drink for us men and
In Psalm 16: the Psalmist associates the cup with his "portion", "inheritance", "lot"
and "lines" (5, 6).
The idea that underlies the word "runneth over" is "abundance".
"We went through fire and water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place"
(Psa. 66: 12).
Here the same word is used that is translated "runneth over" in Psalm 23: The
Lord has filled the cup of our salvation with a lavish hand, and in the New Testament
there are a series of superlative passages which are to the Church what the overflowing
cup was to the Psalmist.
Here are some of the "superlatives" of grace, that we hope to consider together:
LOVE that passeth knowledge;
JOY that is unspeakable;
PEACE that passeth understanding;
GRACE that is abounding;
POWER that is exceeding great;
SALVATION that is to the uttermost;
and others which will be brought to light as we proceed.