June 18, 2020by Reverend Dan on June 18, 2020
“. . . I shall not want.”
In the first three verses, we find out that the shepherd provides for his sheep. First there is the relationship he provides, and today’s scripture tells us that’s just the beginning. Today we find out that he provides everything else we need as well; He makes our lives without want.
Think about that. “I shall not want.” What a provision that is. God is not going to let us go without the things we need. (There is a difference between “want” and “need” in today’s world. During the time this was written, however, the things that were critical for life – what we call a need – were what was then considered wants – the basic necessities of life.)
Now, let’s look at this in the context of the sheep. Left to themselves, sheep lack everything. They’re weak, they’re scared, they stink, and they’ll gorge themselves to death (literally) because they don’t have enough sense to know when enough is enough. But when the shepherd is around, it’s different. Then they’re fine. Whatever they need, he provides. He protects them, he keeps them moving which they need to do (or they’d stand still and eat forever), and he keeps them clean by sheering them and keeping them away from places and things that will make them sick.
God does the same for us. He provides our every need. When we have God, we lack nothing. Listen to what it says just a few psalms later: Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. (34:9)
In his book Traveling Light, Max Lucado writes about the obsession we have with “stuff”, with our earthly possessions. He calls it the “prison of want” and says, “it’s the most populated prison in the world.” He says “its prisoners always want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want a new job, a new house, a new spouse. If you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less—you’re in the prison of want. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it—you’re in the prison of want!”
And yet, here is King David, the greatest king in the Bible, telling us that when God is our shepherd, we have no wants. He’s saying that even though he has everything a man could want, the personal relationship he has with God, his shepherd, is greater than anything he has in this life and this world.
When God is your shepherd, you have all you need. So, the question now becomes, “Are you good with that?” Are you good with letting God fulfill your wants? Letting God decide the direction of your life?
Are you willing to still follow the shepherd?
“Father, Help us to cherish all that you provide, and to be satisfied with our lives simply because You are in them. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”