23: The Shepherd’s Psalm
23:1—I have everything I need.
The opening words of the most famous Psalm serve as an attention-getter: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Often obscured by the Shepherd image, is what it means that God is our Shepherd—simply this: that we have everything we need. What are the things we believe we need that God doesn’t provide for us? Or, what obscures our ability to see that God has given us everything we need?
To understand the Shepherd, we must understand the sheep. Sheep are a curious creature— habitually prone to mistakes and virtually helpless—just like us. Our hope comes in the Good Shepherd who seeks even the 1 of 100 who is lost. Even more than Psalm 23 is about our search for God, it’s about God’s search for us.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.” This middle verse is the central message of 23. We know that life comes pain-equipped, so the question is how do we respond and where is God in the midst of it all? We will be reminded that God offers us minimum protection, but maximum support.
In this final segment of the Shepherd’s Psalm, we receive the greatest message of our life: the goodness and mercy of God doesn’t just follow us all days of our life—they are in hotpursuit of us! Then, we’re not just invited into God’s presence, we’re invited to DWELL with God. What would it look like if we let goodness and mercy catch up to us… and to truly dwell in God’s presence?