The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. (NKJV)
This is undoubtedly the most famous prayer at all times with the possible exception of the so-called “Our Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13. The first five words easily constitute four complete Sermons if each word was given its proper due.
The LORD is my Shepherd! - It is the Lord, not a denomination, or a Church, or a creed, or a Sacrament, or another person who does the shepherding. It is not a great Church leader or an evangelist. Salvation is not the application of a principle, but the acceptance of a Person.
The Lord IS my Shepherd! - He is this today, not yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is not He may be, or He could be, or He should be, but He is my shepherd!
The Lord is MY Shepherd! - This relationship was personal with David. Many ungodly people can quote the psalm of the Shepherd, but know nothing about the Shepherd of the Psalm. Just as many people go to the Church of God without knowing the God of the Church. One may be grateful for a Christian mother and father but spiritual birth, like physical birth, is personal. God has many children, but no grand-children. One must be born again. David said the Lord was his Shepherd! Is He yours?
The Lord is my SHEPHERD! - Our Lord Jesus occupies many offices in the Bible. He is presented as a Judge, King, Prophet, Priest, the Mighty Creator, the Everlasting God, and many other titles. But none apply here. David says He is his Shepherd. David being a shepherd of the sheep himself understands fully the role of the shepherd.
Because of this David continues with “I shall not want” thus
a)When his soul needed spiritual refreshment – the Shepherd provided green pastures.
b) When his soul was weary, the Shepherd provided still water.
c) When his soul needed revival the Shepherd restored him.
d) When his soul needed guidance the Shepherd led him in right paths.
e) When his soul was confronted with death, the Shepherd went with him.
f) When his soul was confronted with enemies, the shepherd provided the victory tables.
g) When his soul was wounded the shepherd anointed his head with oil.
h) When his soul needed companionship, the Shepherd appointed goodness and mercy to accompany him.
i) When David would leave his temporary earthly dwelling place, the Shepherd would provide a permanent heavenly dwelling place.
Thus David’s testimony was “I shall not want”. What a contrast to compare this statement with the one that would later be written on a Babylonian banquet wall addressed to King Belshazzar! The message was “This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting;” (Daniel 5:26-27)
The same Lord can be your own Shepherd tonight. Indeed He is ready now to be your Lord and Shepherd and your testimony will be like David’s “I shall not want”. But the sheep must voluntarily decide to follow the Shepherd.
Are you going to accept Him today as your own Shepherd?
God bless you as you do so.
Silas Eke is actively engaged in sharing Christ to others through his writings, invited talks and personal counselling. Visit his blog Sermon Notes by Silas