Sunday’s Scripture –March 22, 2020
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” That’s how the NRSV translates the first verse of the infamous twenty-third Psalm. The NIV puts it like this: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Shall not want? Lack nothing? Really? Is it just me, or does it feel like there might be a few things we want right now? For starters, the ability to leave our homes without fear and for there to not be a global health crisis. And there’s probably some seemingly urgent things we lack. Like an adequate supply of toilet paper, for instance.
But remember, things weren’t exactly a walk in the park for this Psalmist either. In just a few short verses, we run right into a valley of the shadow of death and a host of surrounding enemies.
That sounds more like it.
We have real enemies and we face real threats. Faith does not mean that we live in denial of the facts. “I shall not want” and “I lack nothing” are less statements of fact and more declarations of faith. We have the Truth of God’s Word, and that trumps the facts of our circumstances every time.
So how is it that we can declare such things as not wanting anything or lacking nothing in these uncertain times? Well, the second part of the verse hinges on the first– THE LORD is my shepherd. As long as we focus on what we shouldn’t want or what we lack, we miss the whole point.
You see, we are not a part of just any shepherd’s flock nor do we follow just any shepherd. It is THE LORD who is our Shepherd. We don’t have a Shepherd who is oblivious to our concerns or distant from us in our need. We have a Shepherd who is with us, making us to lie down in green pastures, leading us beside the still waters, and restoring our very souls. For His own name’s sake, let’s allow Him to lead us in right paths today and always.
- What does it feel like you lack right now? Can you surrender them over to The Good Shepherd and declare by faith that you lack nothing?
- In the midst of the enemies and threats around you, where is God providing for you green pastures and still waters? What are further ways you would allow God to restore your soul?
- What kind of shepherd is Jesus? Make a list of His characteristics as a way to combat any worry or fear you may have. Turn your list into a prayer of thanks to God.