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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Psalm 23:1


One of the most delightful words in this majestic psalm is that little personal, possessive pronoun “my.” I rejoice in knowing that Christ is the good Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep, that he is the great Shepherd who arose and reigns in heaven for his sheep, and that he is the chief Shepherd who is coming again for his sheep; but, frankly, that would all be meaningless to me, if I could not lift my heart to heaven and say, “The Lord is my Shepherd. He is my Shepherd personally, distinctively, and perpetually.


Present Possession

The text is in the present tense. Whatever your position or condition is, sheep of Christ, you are under the watchful care of Christ your Shepherd. Everywhere and always, he watches over us, cares for us, protects us, provides for us, and preserves us. The Lord is my Shepherd; and I am his sheep. — My name is engraved upon the palms of his hands!

Do you see the meaning of those words? “The Lord is my Shepherd!” — That is our great possession! Meditate upon this blessed fact. What may faith deduce from it? David tells us. He describes our great privileges as Christ’s sheep in the next lines.


Reasonable Conclusion

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, “I shall not want.” Faith must draw this conclusion. If the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want anything, for having him, I have everything (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Romans 8:32).

      I shall not want any temporal good thing. None of Christ’s sheep lack anything in this world that is good, needful, and useful for them (Psalm 37:25; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 22:35). Sheep do not feed, clothe, and protect themselves. They are fed, clothed, and protected by their Shepherd (Psalm 37:25; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 22:35).

More importantly, I shall not want any spiritual good thing (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:9-10). Christ is the One in whom all fulness dwells. And we have all our needs supplied in him, by him, from him, and with him. Our souls shall never want for spiritual food, for by him we go in and out and find pasture (John 10:9). We go in to him and out of ourselves. We go in to him and out into the world. He is the Bread of Life. In him we have bread enough and to spare. He is the Fountain of Living Water. Those who drink at this Fountain never thirst for another. We shall never want for clothing, for he is “The Lord our Righteousness” and we are clothed with the robe of his righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). He clothes us with “the garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10). Our hearts shall never want rest, for he is our Resting Place, our Sabbath, in whom we find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30).

These words could be translated, “I shall not fail,” or “I shall not come short.” Then the meaning would be, “Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not fail to attain eternal glory and happiness” (John 10:27-30). — “They shall never perish!







Don Fortner








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