I once met a man who said, “You know, I really lack for nothing. My wants are simple, and my pleasures are few. I’m really rather content.” Now isn’t that a great place to be!
There’s a phrase in the 23rd Psalm that’s really rather astounding. It says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” In other words, when the Lord is your Shepherd, you will lack nothing that is necessary for your life.
Now in our materialistic, ambitious, pleasure-saturated society we may be tempted to put a spin on that phrase, saying that the Lord is obligated to give us whatever we want. I want a bigger house. Or I want a nicer car. Or I want a vacation in the Bahamas. So, “I shall not want” means He’s going to make me wealthy and healthy, and make me prosper in whatever I want to do. Well, that’s an existential interpretation of this verse that doesn’t have both feet on the ground. On the other hand, this is indeed a wonderful statement of God’s provision for our needs. “I shall not want.”
This word “want” is a Hebrew verb that means “to be diminished; to lack what is needed; to fail with regard to some aspect of life.” In other words, it is not suggesting that the Lord will give us whatever we want. It is speaking of the necessities of life – that the Lord will not let us become destitute. We will not lack in the fundamental things like food and water and encouragements for the soul. You see, the Psalm goes on to say “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.”
Now, isn’t that good to know? “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Hey – don’t forget: the Lord really does care about you. He’s your Shepherd.