Knowing the Lord is the foundation of understanding Psalm 23; without that personal knowledge, it will be very hard for one to truly understand and appreciate this Psalm.
“A song of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not lack [anything].” Psalm 23:1
It is only when you truly know Him that you can say the words “I shall not lack (anything)” with full confidence. One needs to note that, as written in Hebrew, this phrase is not only in the present tense but also refers to the future tense. It is because of the fact that we have seen the Lord’s faithfulness in the past, that we have the confidence in the presence that leads us in great faith and hope for the future.
During the time that David wrote Psalm 23, he was not in his palace, nor was he in a place of physical security. Rather, this was during the time that he was fleeing from King Saul because his life was in danger. In fact, he was on the “go” at all times, constantly running and hiding in different places so as to avoid Saul. David understood the need to trust God for everything – his life, food, water, and shelter.
With that, David still proclaims that he will not lack anything. How could a man in his situation say that in such confidence and not be stressed or hysterical? The answer is simple: David had a close, personal relationship with the Lord. He had seen God’s faithfulness in the past, and the fact that David saw God continue to work mightily in his life gave him the ability to trust Him with his very life. He chose to live by faith and trust his Lord.
Can you say with full assurance that you trust that you will not lack anything? The reality is that the test is not in the words that come from our mouth, nor even the thoughts of our hearts, but rather the actions of our lives.
One of the ways by which each of us can see if the words “I shall not lack anything” are true for us, is by simply by examining if there are any areas in our lives where we need to trust God more. How do we invest our time each day? How is our giving & tithing? Do we live in accordance to a biblical worldview in all that we do?
Let us all reflect upon the many blessings and ways by which the Lord has provided for us in the past, trust Him in the present, and live by faith for the future.
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