In his old age, King David looked back over a life filled with the good, the bad and some pretty serious ugly and came to the conclusion of Psalm 23; a song from one shepherd to The Shepherd of his heart and life.
Psalm 23 is the culmination of David’s life. it is the God inspired battle plan for conquering bad days and experiencing fewer bad days even in the midst of great trial and loss.
If God is your Shepherd, if He is my Shepherd, then we can live by this battle plan and be victorious even in the bad days!
I don’t think I really believe this, just like a dumb sheep.
When I see a good balance in the bank account and when I see the cupboards full and when I see healthy and satisfied family all around me then I am happy and full of praise and adoration. But in those times, if I am honest, I am confident in me; in what I can accomplish; in what I can produce. I don’t see God’s hand in all that provision and I am not trusting in Him as my Shepherd and I am not living in a spirit of thanksgiving to Him. The truth is, the good days are all about ME!
So, it is no surprise that when the bank balance is getting low or the health fails or the human relationships get dicey that I have bad days, really really bad days. I even get mad at God and blame Him for not answering prayers which may or may not have even been said! If that is not a dumb sheep, I don’t know what is!
“I shall not want.”
King David was the last born son in his family. He was given the worst job a Jewish boy could have, a shepherd of dumb sheep. Then he got the news that he was to be king of all Israel, but He had to wait several decades to finally be king. In the meantime he was a fugitive on the run, slept in caves, was a leader of the cast offs, experienced hunger and sleepless nights, and faced enemies on every side. And then when he finally was king, it was anything but a bed of roses. Yet, God was David’s Shepherd and this earthly king, this shepherd boy, could in his deepest soul confess that in ALL of his life, he did not want…for anything!
If I am truly going to believe this and live this and rest in this, then I have to believe that David’s Shepherd is also My Shepherd! And I do!! Do you?
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth and and the life; No one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6
If you reject this about Jesus, then you cannot call God your Shepherd. He is still The Shepherd, but He is not your Shepherd and you will be wanting; not just on this Earth, but for the eternity that waits for all of us or I should say, the eternity that waits for no one.
If you can believe and can claim John 14:6 and John 3:16 and the host of Scripture pointing to Jesus as Savior, then God is your Shepherd, but you may not always act like it. I know I don’t.
Jesus also said, “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
The majority of that crowd was mostly lost sheep, they didn’t believe John 14:6. But some in the crowd were Jesus’ sheep but they were acting like sheep without The Shepherd.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, it is not that He is not my Shepherd on the bad days and therefore I feel wanting; it is that I am acting like a sheep without The Shepherd.
And still, The Shepherd, Jesus, has compassion for me and reaches down and picks up His wayward sheep (me), slings me over His shoulder until the bad day passes. Then He places me back among His fold nudging me with His staff and prodding me with His rod because I am one stubborn and stupid sheep!!
And He does this over and over and over; each time teaching and instructing me while providing in such abundance that I shall not want…for anything!
In Jesus I lack nothing. In Jesus I have all I need. God will not withhold any good thing from me.
That is called GRACE!! And in Part 3 we will see exactly what that wonderful and amazing GRACE looks like!!