The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1, ESV
This is a super familiar Psalm. I think a lot of people are familiar with Psalm 23, and I am excited to be walking through it verse by verse.
I encourage you to just think about the verse… The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. How does that verse make you feel? What are some of the things that come to your mind as you think about this verse?
Feel free to share in the comments below how the LORD has used this verse in your life, or maybe even how He is using it right now. I would love for this series to be interactive, so please feel free to share your thoughts.
I have listed some of the thoughts that came to my mind as I was meditating throughout the day on this verse. For a much more expanded version of my thoughts, check out the video below…
I wonder when David wrote this Psalm? Was it the young shepherd boy David who wrote this Psalm? Or was it the much older and wiser King David? Was it a hopeful, optimistic child who was looking forward in faith? Or was it an experienced, weathered traveler who was looking back at the proof of God’s faithfulness?
I’m not sure that it really matters, but I tend to think that it was an older, wiser, experienced, and weathered old King David who wrote Psalm 23 as he considered the similarities between how God had faithfully led him through life, and how David once led his own sheep.
How does it change the Psalm for you as you consider David writing this as a young boy or as an old man?
God is our Shepherd. David realized and declared this reality to be true. I think we would do well to do the same.
What is a shepherd? A shepherd is a protector, a leader. The shepherd is other than. He is not like the sheep. He is vastly different from the sheep. Remember that we were made in the image of God. He was not made in our image! We are like Him, but He is other than us.
Like a good shepherd, God is ever guiding and protecting us. A good shepherd knows his sheep by name, and the sheep know and follow the shepherd’s voice. The LORD calls us by name, and we are called to follow His voice.
A good shepherd protects his flock. Even if the sheep he is tending do not belong to him, a good shepherd would never show up empty-handed. He would lay down his own life to protect the sheep in his care. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, laid down His own life for the sheep that God the Father put into His care. Jesus willingly laid down His own life so that we, His sheep, those of us who put our faith in Him alone could have eternal life and be with the Father forever.
We are like sheep. Sheep are simple, defenseless, prone to wander, designed to follow. We are like sheep! Sheep are most productive when they simply follow their shepherd.
Sheep can be productive. They can produce milk and wool. They are most productive, though, not when they are trying harder, but when they simply follow the shepherd. The natural outcome of following the shepherd, trusting the shepherd, being protected by the shepherd, and being daily provided with food and water by the shepherd, is to produce milk and wool. This is the “fruit” of the sheep. The wool grows by itself. The milk is produced by itself. The sheep doesn’t need to try harder, it just trusts and obeys. The same is true in our lives. The Holy Spirit of God is producing lasting fruit in those who simply follow and trust the Good Shepherd.
We shall not want. God gives us everything that we need. He never promised to give us everything that we want. When we wander away, searching for something other than what the Good Shepherd is providing for us, we venture into dangerous territory. Yes, the Good Shepherd will pursue us and try to safely bring us back, but there are often lasting consequences to our disobedience… to our wanting something other than what the Good Shepherd freely provides.
The LORD is my shepherd. He gives me everything that I need. I shall not want anything beyond the scope of what He is providing.
May we be thankful people today, as we continue to consider this Psalm verse by verse. May we be encouraged, like David was, and like so many have been throughout the generations.