Day 2 - My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Ps 23:1

When we read that “the Lord is my shepherd,” we tend to take great comfort in it, and well we should. He is a caring, wise and benevolent shepherd as we can see from the rest of the psalm.

But let’s look at this verse in another way. Rather than just seeing it as a promise, let’s look at it as a condition. “If the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” While the text doesn’t say this specifically, it is implied. The Living Bible brings this out well: “Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!” And the truth is that the other promises in the psalm are dependent on this reality.

Why is this important? Well, if the if the Lord is my shepherd, I must be a sheep. And while we may not all look favourably on this metaphor (sheep are quite stupid after all), it is repeated throughout the Bible. But of course there is one main difference between us and real sheep: real sheep don’t generally decide whether or not they will follow the shepherd. Their instinct is to stay in the herd, and a good shepherd knows how to get a herd to follow him.

But we are different – we decide to follow our Good Shepherd. Or we decide not to follow Him. And this is the point: if we choose to follow Him, we shall not want or lack any good thing. If we choose to follow Him, He will lead us in green pastures. And so it is with the rest of the psalm.

 

Consider:

Do you intentionally look to God as your Shepherd?

Could you follow Him better than you are right now?