Approaching the Throne of God: Psalm 23- The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want
Anyone remember that Rolling Stones song “I can’t get no satisfaction?” I’m not old enough to “remember it,” per say, as it was, at best (being from the 60’s), classic rock when I was a kid (at worst, it was an oldie). The song references many carnal issues, but also those of what the commercials tell him he should be. In the end, he comes to the conclusion that “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Another popular item of the 60’s was Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory. The final line of that movie drives me crazy every time I hear it: “Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted. He lived happily ever after.” This is a bold faced out right lie! We all know that, even should we get everything we’ve always wanted, there’s always more to get. It’s why the rich aren’t happy, and those who have everything they need still complain about what everyone else has. What then, if we can’t be satisfied by the things of this life, is our hope? The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (some translations translate this as “I have all I need.”). There it is! There is our hope! Complete and utter satisfaction in Christ alone. He is my shepherd, so He can give me all I need. He provides me with everything I need to be CONTENT. Did you notice that I did not say “happy?” Happiness is based on circumstances. It’s why people come to church with expectations of people and circumstances and walk away in bitterness: they are chasing happiness, but scoff at contentment. If Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd, is leading, He will provide us everything we need. He provides the food, the water, the health, the shelter, the discipline, the courage, and everything else we may need in life to be content. It doesn’t mean we’ll always be healthy and wealthy, it means that our shepherd will provide all we need. And The Shepherd does just that: He prepares the pastures, He seeks the good water, He defends from enemies, He sits with the sick, and disciplines the onery. In the presence of the Shepherd, we have contentment and security and lack nothing. He is the source of satisfaction, and we can cry out with David “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all I need.” Philippians 4:1-13 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.