My goodness, it has been some time since my last entry! I did not preach this past Sunday, as a result, I let time slip by without doing any blogs. That said, we are back on the train this week, continuing the series "Jesus in the Psalms." In this series we are looking at different chapters in the book of Psalms in which Jesus is referred to-in other words, Messianic Psalms. Two weeks ago I taught on Psalm 110. So, in preparation for my sermon this upcoming Sunday, I want to explore Psalm 23. Let's take a look at this well known chapter.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Today, I would like to focus on vs. 1: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
Verse one could be a sermon all by itself, but I want to focus on the latter half of vs. 1. David makes a declaration in the first part of vs. 1-that the Lord is his shepherd, then the second part of vs.1 is the result of the declaration; because the Lord is his shepherd, he shall not want. What does David mean when he says: "I shall not want?" This statement packs a lot of punch if you think about it. How many of us do not want for anything? How often do we find ourselves (myself included) saying: "boy, I would really like...(fill in the blank)". I'll mention a very unspiritual example from my own life. I enjoy playing video games...it's something that I've always enjoyed. In times past, there is no doubt I played too many games. It can be a fun hobby, and a great distraction from the troubles of this world if kept in balance. Well, a year or so ago a new video game console came out on the market. Because of the supply chain shortage, the electronic components needed to make these consoles are in short supply-thus the console was in short supply. From the moment they hit the market I told my wife that I really wanted the new PS5. I would talk about it (too) often. Eventually I did get my hands on one...but my "wanting" did not stop there-then I "wanted" a game or two. My "wanting" never has an end. Most things in life are this way. Especially here in the U.S., we are constantly "wanting" whatever gadget, car, toy, or money, just to name a few. From my point of view, when David says "I shall not want" he means 2 things:
1. The Lord is the one who supplies all of his needs.
2. He desires nothing more than what the Lord provides.
As a follower of Christ, I can think of little else that provides a greater challenge than "I shall not want." To live our lives in such a way that our desires match perfectly with the Lord's provision is a high bar indeed. As I sat down to write this sermon and was flushing out the deep meaning behind some of David's statements, I felt much conviction. Would that every believer live in such a way! God Bless.