The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psalm 23 is one of the most comforting passages that we find in the Scriptures. The author, David, paints a wonderful word picture of how God was his shepherd. He identified three benefits of following the Shepherd:
1. The Shepherd meets our needs.
Before David was anointed a king, he was a lowly shepherd. He took care of the sheep that were entrusted to him. He knew that the lives of the sheep were in his care. David led them towards food and water. He kept the enemies away to provide safety to the sheep.
I can imagine David looking up at the stars after a long day of taking care of the sheep and realizing that God was His shepherd. Just as David took care of the sheep, God was taking care of David. Just as David kept the enemies at bay so too did God do for David. He realized that all of his needs were met by his Shepherd, the Lord.
2. The Shepherd provides rest.
As David was looking out over his flock and perhaps watching them sleep, David realized that not only did God meet his needs but He also provided the rest he desperately needed. The sheep did not have to worry about a predator at night because David was there to keep watch. The sheep could sleep in peace because their shepherd was there!
David understood that he could have rest because His shepherd was watching out for him. All of the worries may surround him, but his shepherd was there to protect him.
3. The Shepherd supplies peace.
Can you imagine walking beside a running stream? I understand you may have to use your imagination here in Tucson! However, David gives this wonderful picture of walking next to a running stream. In that moment, David recognized that God met his needs and provided rest, therefore, David could have peace. Peace in the midst of life’s circumstances can only be obtained when we realize that our Shepherd has everything in His control.
These are all comforting truths. However, there is a small word that David used in the first verse. The Lord was *his* shepherd. You see, David had access to all of these truths because he had a personal relationship with the Lord. Did you know you can too? In this world of turmoil, stress, and hardship, we can have these comforting truths that David talks about. However, we must have a personal relationship with the Shepherd.