I’ve spent some time this week reflecting on the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” (NIV) Of course, David wrote this psalm — one shepherd writing about another. David understood the role of a shepherd because he had been one. He knew the long nights. He understood the necessity of green grasses and fresh water. He had raised his staff in protection against wild animals. The care of his sheep was a 24/7 commitment.
So apparently, when he was facing a trial in his life, he reflects on the imagery of God being his shepherd. The One who provided for his needs. The One who protected him. The One who loved him 24/7.
One thousand years later, Jesus would pick up on David’s imagery when he said in John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…” (NIV) A bit later he said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (VS. 27) Jesus’ own words make it possible for us to apply Psalm 23 directly to our lives, just like David did.
So I have been pondering that first sentence this week… “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Due to American culture, it is so easy to focus on the things that I “lack” in my life. These might revolve around things, or a future hope, or an experience, but verse 3 makes it absolutely clear that David is not talking about material things or experiences in the 23rd Psalm. “He restores my soul…” (VS. 3)
Jesus, out of His deep love for us, has provided for the restoration of our souls. Our spiritual standing with God has been altered due to His sacrifice upon the cross. We have moved from darkness to light, from dead to alive, from broken to healed. Restored. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing spiritually — for he has restored my soul.
Today I am grateful. Grateful for a Loving Shepherd who has so wonderfully provided for my salvation, as well as the inclusion into the Kingdom of Heaven. “Dear Shepherd, help me to love You, as You love me. Help me to follow Your teachings and Your commands. May I always be one who knows Your voice. Amen.”