The Priceless Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not want (Psalm 23:1), is one verse of the Scriptures we are conversant with. You could ask a child to recite Psalm twenty three and the child would effortlessly begin, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…”
It is often said that when one is not cautious, he or she would tend to take certain things or people for granted simply because he or she has become conversant with such things or people. Most Africans especially Nigerians would call it “The Law of See Finish”. When you read the fifty-forth verse to the fifty-eighth verse of the thirteenth Chapter of the Book of Matthew, you would see that even Jesus could do no mighty works in His own town or city because the people knew His earthly parents.
Most of us are so used to reciting this particular Psalm that we have unconsciously lost the Rhema in the logos. The beautiful thing about a verse of the Scriptures is its dynamic nature. The light you got from meditating on a verse of the Scriptures yesterday is different from the light you would get from meditating on that same verse of the Scriptures today. It all depending on how hungry you are to get Rhema.
I shall not want
Before I proceed, I would like to define the following terms:
- Shepherd: According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a shepherd is a person whose job is to take of sheep and move them from one place to another.
- Want: The Cambridge Dictionary defines want as to wish for a particular thing.
So, it is safe to say, “The Lord takes care of me, I shall not want.” In the fourteenth verse of the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Matthew, Jesus told the disciples to let the little children come to Him. I love the New Living Translation of this Scripture – “But Jesus said ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” This means that if you want the Kingdom of Heaven to belong to you, then you would have to learn to be like children.
When you observe how a child acts and reasons, you will see the need to worry less and trust the Shepherd.
Simply put – the role of the shepherd is to fend for his/her sheep and ensure that they do not want.
I shall not want
A child worries less when he or she knows that his/her father or mother is available. Oftentimes, a little boy doesn’t need to worry about what food his mother will cook for him; he is certain that his mother would give him something delicious because he shall not want. Other times, if his mother is occupied, he wouldn’t worry about how the food would come to be; all he would say is “Mummy, I want to eat” or “Mummy, I am hungry”. After saying this, he expects his mother to make his food available.
I think children have better understanding of ‘I shall not want’ than adults.
Another example is when you take your three year old daughter to the mall and she sees a gigantic teddy bear or a toy that she wants, she’d just tell her mother or father that she wants it. It is left for her parent to discern and decide whether to buy it or not.
At this point, I would like to add that a parent wouldn’t provide what would hurt his child. The shepherd wouldn’t give his sheep poison to eat. The same way a sensible parent would not buy a car or a gun for his three-year-old son simply because he requested for it.
I shall not want
That was why Jesus said in the eleventh verse of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Luke – If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? (KJV)
You might be thinking ‘Okay, since the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, then why do I want this, this, and that? Why do I ask for certain things and the Lord does not make them available? He said He is my Shepherd, I shall not want; but why are my prayers still unanswered?” There are a lot of reasons why God doesn’t answer some of your prayer requests. If we delve into that, it would be a long post. There are also a lot of factors that could hinder answers to your prayers. I will give you one factor in this story below.
Noah, a five-year-old boy returned home from school one day and told his mother that he was given a practical assignment – to plant a grain of bean in a container. After he had had his lunch, showered and taken a nap, his mother took him to the garden. She showed him how to scoop some spoons of loamy soil into a container; this he did with excitement. She gave him a grain of bean to put in the soil. He joyfully did so and watered it. He thanked his mother and went to play with his toys. That night, he thought about the plant so much that he dreamt about the plant.
The next day, immediately the School Bus dropped him after school, Noah raced into the house, greeted his mum and went straight to the container to see his crop but there was no leaf. Having brought out the seed and saw that nothing had happened to it, he put it back into the soil and went into his bedroom disappointed. This he did for many days. When he could no longer stomach how he felt, he asked his mother why his seed hadn’t grown. She assured him that it would surely grow.
At this juncture, I would like to pause and ask you – “Do you think that seed will grow like his mother said it would?”
I shall not want
Two weeks later, Noah returned from school downcast and unhappy. His mother asked him why he was unhappy and he said that his teacher told them to bring their plant to school the next day. His mother cheered him up and he felt better. He went about his normal after-school activities.
The next morning, he woke up, remembered his assignment and became gloomy. He remembered how his classmates had bragged about how well their plants were growing. His mother noticed that he wasn’t engaging her in any chatty conversation like he always did every morning.
When the School Bus arrived and the driver honked, his mother led him outside. She scuttled to the garden and returned with a container of growing bean plant. She gave the container to him and said, “Son, there is time for everything.”
Immediately, Noah’s countenance changed. He hugged and thanked his mother. Apparently, Noah’s mother knew that her inquisitive son would never allow the plant to grow as it should. Therefore, she did something about it. What did she do? What do you think she did?
I shall not want
Some of us are like this little boy. After we ask God for a thing, we begin to think on how He would provide what we have asked for. We have asked God for money yet we are looking at some rich folks whom we think God will use as channels to give us the money. We unconsciously limit His ability.
Well remember Haggai 2:8 – ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. Everything is His’. You can only give what you have. Jesus, while on earth had an understanding of the efficacy of ‘I shall not want‘. In the latter verses of the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Matthew, Jesus sent Peter to the sea to catch a fish and take the piece of money he would find once he opened the mouth of the fish. God could use anyone and anything to meet the needs of those that are His’.
We have to come to a point of trusting God the same way a flock of sheep trust that their shepherd would neither lead them to desert places nor stormy waters. The sheep knows that it shall not want good food as long as its shepherd is present.