Explaining the Book

Bible Study Guide

Psalms

Psalm 23 1 Commentary

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: So, let’s see what this shepherd-turned-king says about God’s Pastoral Provisions. Let’s read the rest of verse 1.

The LORD is my shepherd;
I [shall not want/lack nothing].

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: What a Shepherd is Like

A shepherd cares for his sheep. If the sheep are to eat, it’s the shepherd who leads them to the pastures. If the sheep are thirsty, they count on the shepherd to provide the water. If a sheep is feverish or sick, he has no means to heal himself. It’s the shepherd who works to remedy whatever’s wrong with the sheep. If the sheep is in danger from some predator, it’s the shepherd who alone can protect him – since sheep have no real means of defending themselves. That’s the relationship between a literal shepherd and his literal sheep.

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: All We Like Sheep

And don’t we as God’s people know what that’s like in a metaphorical sense with the Lord? We’re not literal sheep. And yet our relationship with the Lord is like a sheep’s relationship with his shepherd. Our God provides us with food and water and clothing and shelter and protection from adversaries. In these ways and many more the Lord is our shepherd, just as he was David’s.

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: I Shall Not Want

And if the Lord is your shepherd you can proclaim with David that you shall not want. That’s not saying that you will never have any desires. That word “want” is used in Exodus 16:18 where the people were going out to get manna and the text says, “he that gathered little had no lack.” Or in Deuteronomy 2:7 where Moses says, “these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.”

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: No Lack

So, it’s not that as a sheep of our Lord the shepherd you will never desire anything. But rather you will never lack any good thing that the Shepherd wants you to have as you follow him.

And then anything we do lack as the Lord’s sheep, we either have not asked for it – as James in the New Testament reminds us – we have not because we ask not. Or the Lord knows that we don’t need it.

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: When We Do Lack

We might think that we absolutely need some specific thing in this life. And yet, if we have asked for it and yet we still don’t have it this is when we can trust our Shepherd that: a) he will provide it in his perfect timing, or b) he knows we don’t need it.

And if you and I are convinced that the Lord is our shepherd then we will be content with that way of thinking. We will rest and trust, knowing that he knows what’s best for us.

So, we as the Lord’s sheep shall not want. David was convinced of that fact and he invites us to meditate on that reality – the reality of God’s Pastoral Provisions.

Psalm 23 1 Commentary: How We Don’t Lack

And now through the rest of this psalm he leads us through several areas of life where this rings true – where God’s Pastoral Provisions appear in the life of a believer. Let’s see this in verse 2 on our Psalm 23 2 Meaning article.

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Comments

  1. I went through several articals, but I did not get seticification. I was reading Psalm 23:4, during that time I was searching some articals on same verse when I got your articals really it change my perspective always I was trying to interprate this verse as I want but after reading your articals it changed my perspective.
    Thanks for your explenation. May God use you more then more.

  2. Thank you for the simple explanation which every lay man can understand. I am happy and satisfied with your explanation, thank you.

  3. thank u ,its so very clear ,the explaination is very clear how God takes care of us as His sheep.He is indeed a good unique shepard.We have to meditate on that,we will live happily knowing that our GOD is our shepard

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