Saturday, March 3, 2007

Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want"

Psalm 23 is a psalm that is known inside and outside the Christian community. It is one of the most well known scriptures in the Hebrew Bible. I was pondering and meditating over this scripture today. The psalm shows God as protector, provider, and comforter.

The very first part of the verse is "The Lord is my shepherd..." This is a statement, a fact, a promise. A shepherd was one who protected and looked after the sheep. The shepherd provided all that the sheep needed. A sheherd leads and guides the sheep. The second part of the verse "I shall not be in want" is a consequence to the first statement. Because God is our shepherd, we have all that we need. Period. There is no question about it. The New Living Translation puts the second part of verse one this way, "I have all that I need".

As Christians, do we truly, deep down believe this? I do believe that the Lord is my shepherd, my protector and my provider, but how often do I think I need more. More of what, I am not sure. I know that I have all that I need. I do believe this scripture with all of my being. God has provided above and beyond what I could have ever asked for, and he continues to. When my mind is dwelling on eternal things, I know without a doubt that not only do I have all that I need, I most likely have more than I need.

I would be lying if I said that there were not things that I wanted. But a want is different than a need. According to the original Hebrew, the word used here for want is rox, which is translated as a need and means to lack or be without...a need is something necessary to live. Since it says that I shall not be in need, God will provide all that I need, so that I am not without that which is necessary to live. A want, according to merriam-webster dictionary, is a desire. I don't have to have certain things to survive, I may think I do, but I don't. Just as it says in Matthew 6, if the Lord provides for the birds of the air who do not reap or sow or store away in barns, how much more valuable am I than the birds of the air to God, since I am made in His image, and how much more will He provide for my needs.

Since I do believe that all scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), I believe that the Lord is my shepherd, and He has given me all that I need, at the present time, to live an abundant life for Him.

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