I Shall Not Want!
In much of the Christian world today the mindset is the assertion that if a man or woman is prospering materially it is a mark of the blessing of God upon their lives. This truly isn’t the meaning of nor does it address the term; ‘I shall not want’. Sheep in the Shepherd’s care do experience lack of need as David himself experienced hunger, poverty, acute hardship and anguish of spirit.
We need to understand through the sheep’s eye that under the care of a good shepherd they, the sheep, do not lack the expert care and management of their owner or master. The same is true for us, sheep under the care of ‘The Good Shepherd’; we can boast in His care of us, regardless of the circumstances we currently find ourselves in as He always has our benefit in His mind. The welfare of any flock is entirely dependent on the management of their owner.
Mr. Keller tells of a tenet sheepman on the farm next to his first ranch who was the most indifferent manager he had ever met. He was not a bit concerned about his sheep, the land was neglected, He gave no time to them and they fell prey to dogs, cougars and rustlers. There was no shelter from storms and blizzards and they had muddy water to drink. These sheep would huddle at the fence staring at the rich pastures on the other side of the fence. He totally ignored their needs.
Our Good Shepherd NEVER ignores our needs and His eye is always on us: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber or sleep” (Psalm 121:4). We need not stand at the fence gazing at our neighbor’s pasture for we have the richest pasture to be had. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits-even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19)
That we can say ‘I shall not want’ is called contentment in the Scripture; contentment with our Master, our Owner, our Shepherd and His management of us. We are to be content with such things as we have (Hebrews 13:5), not that we will have everything. The Apostle Paul, before the Phillipian saints again flourished in their care of him, had learned whatsoever state he was in to be content (Phi 4:11-12). He knew how to be abased and how to abound, he knew what it was to be full and to be hungry and to suffer need, so the scripture tells us.
We may, as believers’, be called upon in this life to suffer need as well. We may experience poverty, illness, lack of material benefits and hardships as we sojourn here. But, as Psalm 23 asserts, we can have confidence that because we belong to “The Good Shepherd’ there is nothing that escapes His care of us, He takes delight in caring for us, in providing for us and keeping us safe and flourishing in His care. There is no trouble too great for The Good Shepherd in caring for His flock. He gave His very life for us and He said “I am come that ye might have life and that ye might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)
Abundant = “richly supplied”; we have an abundant life here, spiritual life because our life is hid with Christ in God, we have an abundance of grace in all spiritual blessings in Him and we have an eternal inheritance reserved for us in heaven.
The Good Shepherd, He is my Owner and I can, as David, have that peace that passes all understanding amidst this sojourn, I can have unceasing confidence and joy knowing that The Lord, He is my Shepherd and I shall not want.