The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.Psalm 23:1-4 NIV
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
This is probably the best known of the psalms. It is one that many of us who grew up in the church memorized early on. And it has been a great deal of comfort to many people as they go through difficult times. Even though most of us have little familiarity with shepherds and their relationship with sheep, this psalm speaks to the protection and provision God provides to his people.
As a young boy, David had been a shepherd. So he understood the responsibilities of being a shepherd and the needs of their sheep. Tending sheep was much more than just a job. He knew his sheep and cared about them. He was with them night and day. In the cold of winter and the heat of summer. He protected them from predators and thieves. And he led them to good pastures to eat and quiet waters to drink. The sheep had nothing to fear or worry about so long as their shepherd was on the job.
David used this intimate knowledge as a shepherd to describe God’s provision for his people. As a sheep in God’s flock, I do not need to fear what anyone might do to me. Nor do I need to worry about the multitude of things that cause anxiety to others. The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing!