Psalm 23:1 NASB
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Most of us have heard that verse many times throughout our lives. In fact it has taken up a very important spot in my life because it teaches me about who God is and how God cares for me.
Take a few minutes to read through and think through this first verse of Psalm 23. It might change your view of God.
“The Lord is my shepherd.”
David said the above words. David as well as Jesus put our understanding on the line. He painted a picture to describe God for us. He humanized God or gave Him characteristics that we can see and hold on to.
But we have to be careful not to take this human view of God in a direction that removes the deity of God. In the son, Jesus, God was completely God and completely man. He lived to shepherd His people and brought so many truths in to our lives that we cannot miss how God provides in the way a shepherd would for His sheep.
Colossians 1:15-20 reminds us that our shepherd is more than a caregiver. He is God. He is the creator and the beginning of all things. Everything is in subjection to Him. God chose for the complete God to dwell in Jesus meaning that He could be for us everything. The shepherd had a vital role with the sheep. God has a vital role in our lives, and we must submit to Him.
Go look at any shepherd with his sheep and see how the caring is so very strong. It is not only His job to protect and to provide for the sheep, but he goes far beyond to give the essence of safety and strength to each of his sheep.
The life of any sheep depends on the one who cares for it. There is endless comfort and insight that the shepherd has and brings to his work with the sheep.
Remember that sheep are not the smartest animals in the world. Often they get themselves lost. When their fur is to heavy and long, a sheep can fall over and not be able to get back on his feet. That is another time the shepherd is so important to the sheep. Do you see the between we humans and sheep?
“I shall not want.”
The next phrase is about the ability of the sheep to trust the shepherd. When we trust God, we fully rely on Him. That is something we all need. To live in that way we will live much different than most of the people we are around.
The idea of not being in need is huge. God provides what we need, but humans have a tendency to have big appetites. Those things lead to confusion and compilation in life. Trusting God will take us to places we could not go on our own because we will not fight others or go in wrong directions.
Some people preach and believe that God is in the business of blessing people with material things and money. When people have a lot of things that money can buy, they often call those things “blessings from God.” In one sense that’s okay, but in another very important sense, that’s a dangerous thing.
God’s desire is for us to be satisfied and to trust Him. People who say “I shall not want” have learned how to live with less and to trust God in more than a casual way.
May we find ourselves trusting God more. May we live with less and allow our shepherd to guide and provide each day. To put this verse in to practice is to live a changed life that only God can provide!