“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:1–2
Many commentators believe that David wrote Psalm 23 in his later years, reflecting on his life. Although David the shepherd became David the king, he never forgot the lessons he learned while caring for his father’s flock. When the Lord is our shepherd, we too can say, “I shall not want.” That raises a question. Are you content with God’s care?
A shepherd’s primary job is to lead and feed. Sheep, however, have only one job – to follow. They don’t frantically run around trying to find a pasture in which to graze or a stream from which to drink. As they follow, the shepherd takes care of every aspect of their well-being. Likewise, we can trust the Lord to know and meet our daily needs as we follow Him (Philippians 4:19). Under the care of the Good Shepherd, there’s no need to be anxious or overwhelmed.
But, “I shall not want” doesn’t mean having everything our hearts desire. “[Lying] down in green pastures” is the picture of contentment. You see, sheep don’t lie down until their hunger is satisfied. They don’t look longingly at another field; but rest contently within the shepherd’s care and provision. If we spend our lives thinking that the grass is greener elsewhere then we’ll feel restless and discontent…frequently.
A shepherd also knows that water is essential to life. So, he bypasses stagnate and disease-ridden ponds; leading his flock to clean, “quiet waters.” Our Shepherd leads us to the pure and refreshing water of God’s Word. It provides all the spiritual nourishment we need to be fully satisfied. Jesus said, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
So, are you contently resting in God’s care? Or, are you looking for greener grass elsewhere? When we focus too heavily on our material needs and desires, we often neglect our greater, spiritual needs. And chasing after material things never satisfies. It only increases our hunger and thirst for more. You can trust the Lord with every aspect of your well-being. Our caring Shepherd is faithful to lead and feed. Our job is simply to follow.