The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (v. 1)
The twenty-third Psalm is actually a psalm of praise. One cannot help but rejoice in the Lord’s blessings as he reads this psalm. It begins with praise for the Lord and His provision, and reflects this theme all the way through the psalm. It is prOBably the most popular and oft-quoted psalm in the entire Book of Psalms. The implication of verse one is that “because the Lord is my shepherd…” because He is, and because He loves, “I shall not (have) want”. All my needs are met in Him. I shall not want for peace and tranquility; I shall not want for restoration and further leading; I will fear no evil, nor death; I will not lack for comfort. I will be at peace with my enemies, and even sit at meat with them; I shall know a special and unique anointing by God alone; my cup will overflow with good things that will sustain me, and I will enjoy much more than what is needed. I can be assured that goodness and mercy will be with me all the days of my life, never one time forsaking me, and I can rest in the this promise; and, last, but not least by far, I will have an eternal home in Heaven with the One whom I greatly adore, and Who also adores me, and I will dwell in His house forever and ever. Do you see what I mean? This psalm is filled with praise for what the Lord has done. What greater promise need we than the 23rd Psalm? There is only one condition here, and that is that the Lord must be your shepherd, yea, the shepherd of your soul. This is not for everyone; neither is it for just anyone, but for the chosen one, the child of God.
As David sat on a hillside tending the flock, I can see him penning these words. He was basking in the grace and comfort of faith in the Lord; perhaps he was meditating on what the Lord means to him, and how good He has been in his life. He had put himself in the place of the sheep, and was praising God from their point of view. There must have been a vast, green meadow for his sheep, as well as a river or stream trickling gently down the hillside; PrOBably he had just recently retrieved a sheep that had strayed away, and restored him to the flock; he may have led the sheep back carefully to the fold. Perhaps there was a potential danger there too, a wolf lurking about, on the outer fringes of the hills, and other beasts that roamed the hills, and fed on sheep, and the sheep would gather close to the shepherd. They know the shepherd cares, and that he will protect them, even if he has to live among them until the danger is gone. What a blessing for the sheep! What a loving Shepherd.