"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want".
When you read this beginning verse, what does it say to you? For years, I read this verse never getting anything out of it because I did not look for anything IN the verse. As a child, I had memorized the whole Psalm, yet it meant nothing to me because I didn not take hold of what the verses were actually saying. But recently, it came alive! And now I see so much in that one verse that it will be difficult to keep it down to a few paragraphs. When you can get excited about reading scripture, then you are growing in the Lord. However, if you are not excited now, just wait until you start studying this Psalm.
I noticed that this verse describes the relationship between the Lord and me. In addition, it tells me what the rest of the Psalm is all about. What do you mean? Take a closer look at the verse as if you had never seen it before. Do not allow your preconceived ideas in because you will not see anything new that way."The Lord is my Shepherd".It lets me know who He is as well as who I am to Him. "I shall not want." This shows me that it is personal and that He provides for me. But now, I did something with this verse that I do not usually do. I put the emphasis on a word in the verse and read it that way. What absolutely amazes me is that each word can stand alone in the verse. What am I talking about? Okay, take any one of the words in the verse and emphasize it. For instance, "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want." What does this tell you? It tells me that this is the LORD, the creator, the Alpha and the Omega. He IS the Lord. Now I will do this with each word and see what happens.
1) The----------With this word emphasized it means that He is THE Lord. There is no One but Him. It does not say "many" or "one of". It says THE.
2) Lord---------This word means that He is Lord, the creator. He is the Ruler of all. And He is Who He says He is.
3) Is------------Here we notice that the word IS means that it is present tense. It is not something that happened in the past, but is right now.
4) My----------Ah, now this word makes it very personal. He is MY Shepherd. He is personal to me. That means that this verse is promised to ME! Hallelujah!
5) Shepherd---This word is power packed because it means that He is all that a shepherd would be to his sheep. A shepherd is a protector, a provider of food, shelter, and care that all stay close and are not lost. He is everything to the sheep and is usually the only individual that they see for long periods of time. A relationship forms between shepherd and sheep. They come to depend on him for everything and he provides it for them because he cares what happens to them. They are valuable to him.
6) I-------------One word can mean so much. This one means that this verse is very personal, not to be taken lightly. It belongs to ME. Praise God!
7) Shall--------Now here we have a word that means it is not in the past. It is not only now but also in the future. We also have a surety that it WILL happen because the word "shall" is a definite statement. It means "guaranteed".
8) Not----------This one means that NEVER will I have a need that is not taken care of, as long as I accept the promise of the Lord that is in this verse.
9) Want--------The word does not mean that I can go asking the Lord for just anything and He will provide it but it does mean that needs are met. It also means that, as with any loving Father, He will give you things that you desire. But the main thing about this word is that if you accept this promise, you will never have need of anything that the Lord does not provide.
When I started to see these things, it was a real eye opener for me. NOW that verse means something personally. I can see that as long as I understand and take hold of this promise, I will have Someone to guide me through everything. He will be with me during all problems but, even when there is no difficulty, the Lord is with me. He is my comfort and my Hiding Place, my Rest. With Him in my life, I have no needs that will go unanswered. Most important of all, He is there for me when He asks me to do things, to walk with me every step of the way. What an AWESOME God we serve.
Now, what do YOU see?
Click here for verse 2 of the study on Psalm 23.
"Green Pastures And Small Creeks."