I Shall Not Want

Finish this sentence: “The Lord is my Shepherd…”

If you memorized Psalm 23 in the King James Version, as many of us did as children, then you said, “I shall not want.”

As a child, that phrase puzzled me… I used to wonder, “Want what?” Somehow the sentence didn’t seem complete.

Well, that’s because in Old English, that use of “want” was equivalent to today’s use of “lack” – “I shall not lack.”   Thus the New International Version says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.”

The New Living Translation says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”

How can anyone say that they have all that they need?  After all, you always need more money, right?  How about more (or better) friends?  Better grades?  More time?  Greater wisdom? We are always complaining and talking and wishing for MORE.  How can the Psalmist say that he lacks nothing?

Because he has a good Shepherd.  Maybe the writer doesn’t have everything, but he has everything he needs.  Perhaps he doesn’t have it all, but he has enough.

Because the LORD (Almighty, Creator, Savior) is his Shepherd.

And the Lord IS. In the present tense, not just a future promise.

And the Lord is MY shepherd – a personal caretaker.

And the Lord is my SHEPHERD – He leads beside quiet waters, guides along the right paths, comforts, prepares, anoints, follows…

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want… a boyfriend/girlfriend for He knows when I will be truly ready and will make it happen in His time, not mine.

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want… more money for He knows just how much I could have it be a stumbling block.

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want… more attention for pride caused the first sin.

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want… anything more than what He has already provided for me today and what He will provide for me tomorrow – for my best, for my soul, for His will.  Amen.”

2 thoughts on “I Shall Not Want

  1. Hahahhaha I read ember when we did this in small groups, putting the emPHASis on different syllables! It really does make a difference haha. Thanks for the post =)

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