Psalm 23 should not be called simply “a psalm of David”. Yes, he did write it, and it does illustrate his experience with the divine shepherd. But if we have the same shepherd David had, it can be our psalm, too. So . . . do we have the same shepherd?
We say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” but sometimes we envision a different shepherd than the one whom David praised. Sometimes we think of the Lord not as the Good Shepherd, but as the Good Enough Shepherd.
Unlike David’s picture of himself as a beloved sheep who has no worries because his shepherd provides the very best of everything and gives him more than he needs, we sometimes see ourselves as scraggly strays on the outskirts of the flock. We know that the shepherd will provide for our needs, but we subconsciously interpret that to mean, “He will give me enough to get by. He’ll ration out blessings, giving me just enough to sustain me.”
Jesus invites us to experience the same shepherd-sheep relationship that David enjoyed. Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd, and each believer as a beloved sheep whom He will protect at the cost of His life. He offers us not just enough to get by, but says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). Life to the full—to the maximum—the “good life” with the Good Shepherd—that’s what Jesus offers us!
Our Good Shepherd cares for us out of delight, not duty. He gives us not rationed blessings, but so many we can’t hold them, not “treats” to reward us for good behavior, but a feast—just because we’re His. He gives us not only His abundant provisions, but His abiding presence as well. He does not simply put up with us. He wants us. He loves us.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not the Good Enough Shepherd. He offers you the opportunity to call David’s psalm your psalm. Will you do it?
“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!” (Psalms 23:1 TLB).
“You prepare a feast for me . . . my cup overflows with blessings” (Psalms 23:5 NLT).
“You give me more than I can hold” (Psalms 23:5 ICB).
Copyright © 2010 Sherrie Lorance. All rights reserved.