By Brooke Holt
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
Each person longs to know that he or she has significance, that she is worthy of love and care, that he is worthy of honor. Everyone needs someone to delight in him or her. These longings are not wrong; instead, they are longings that reflect the heart of God. He, too, longs to be loved, known, cherished, and honored. And he alone is the one who can do all these things for you and for me as the Lord alone is the unchanging, infinite God of steadfast love for his people.
David came to know and trust in this steadfast love of the Lord. Bear in mind, David didn’t come to know this love after Samuel anointed him as king of Israel nor while sitting comfortably on his throne. David came to know the love and care of his heavenly Father as shepherd to the sheep in his field, as he was dismissed by his brothers before conquering Goliath, and as he ran for his life to escape from King Saul.
David knew the awesome privilege of serving as shepherd; he knew what it meant to love and care for his sheep while being keenly aware of the many dangers and predators that threatened them. David knew these challenges not only for his sheep but also for himself. Psalm 23 is written from the perspective of one who suffered tremendously. Throughout that suffering, David knew the Lord God had anointed him to be the king of Israel though he probably felt quite confused about the path to the throne and the timing of God’s fulfillment of this call.
How did David prevail through all the trials of his life? He entrusted himself to the Lord and followed his lead. As his shepherd, David trusted that God knew him completely, saw him, protected him, cared for him, and would make the way clear before him. This trust did not make life easy for David, but it provided strength and wisdom for each day and circumstance.
Do you know that the Lord is your shepherd? Do you trust in his plans and purposes for you. If so, have you entrusted yourself to him? Do you surrender daily to his plans and desires for you? To do these things, you must know God is good, that he loves you with a perfect and steadfast love, and that his plans for you are good. Just as the Lord saw, knew, and had the faithful way forward for David so he also sees you, knows you, loves you, and has the way forward for your life.
In the Lord, you find your true significance, identity, and purpose. Will you look to him today?
What do you think of when you hear that the Lord is your shepherd? How is he inviting you to entrust yourself to him today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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