Psalm 23:1-4 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me
beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of
righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your
staff, they comfort me.
familiar opening of the 23rd psalm bring comfort to people of faith
– for the Lord God, can be known. Knowing
God, according to Jesus, is eternal life, life of the quality of the eternal
God as well as the quantity of the eternal God.
God as the shepherd, a familiar pastoral image as well as a regal one, leads
the psalmist to affirm “I shall not want”. I know God, he cares – I’m fed and
led into good places, my soul restored. So,
come what may, because he leads me; it will be well. Even if I pass through the
valley of the shadow of death – he, the shepherd, will bring me through.
valley of the shadow of death holds no fear; just as the shadow of a dog can’t
bite me, the shadow of a sword can’t cut me so the shadow of death can’t hurt
a claims of knowledge of the infinitely “other” may set on edge the teeth of
the Anti-theist, it could lead the atheist to despair at a persons’
gullibility, but it has been and remains a comfort for many.
the Christian the reason for our comfort
(and confidence) is that Jesus, the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for
the sheep, has triumphed over death through the events of Easter and that we
who trust in his leading appropriate the fruits of his victory by faithful
obedience to him. As
we read the psalm, we notice the peace and provision of God is in the present
tense; the Lord is my shepherd, not
was my shepherd or will be my shepherd.
of God is a present reality requiring a personal relationship who we meet in
the person of Christ; the Lord is my Shepherd, not the shepherd or a
shepherd – I know his lordly pastoral presence with me. For
the Christian there is no promise
that evil is banished, or dark shadows will not come over us; simply a
confidence that God has made himself known as the Shepherd and provides for all
our needs – and will lead us through all the seasons of life.
Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
know that for yourself is a rich blessing indeed.