Saturday Reflection – 23 November 2019
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
The Twenty-third Psalm is one of the most popular Psalms that we know and often use as our reference. The Psalmist David in declaring today’s watchword affirms the notion that we are sheep in need of a shepherd to lead and guide us and therein declares that the Lord is his shepherd. In this Psalm, David basks in the privilege and bliss to be a sheep of Jesus and he expresses the comforts that he enjoys.
His bold declaration not only acknowledges God but confidently states the promise which is as recorded in the Message Translation, “I don’t need a thing” or in the NIV Version “I lack nothing.” Therefore, there is an understanding that David wants to convey, that under God’s shepherding, we will not want or lack anything good. He trusted the leadership of God, remembering the mercies that he bestowed on his ancestors and even in his own life, and could now confidently declare him as such.
David came to the place, where he understood this as he himself was a shepherd and was known now as a shepherd in whom the sheep could rely on, as we watched and protected them from the attacks of the lion and the bear. He remembered the loving care and skill that had to be executed in the fields and compares it to God’s loving care of his people. Not only having that, but his own story, from his shepherding days to the Goliath experienced the attack from Saul which all led to his kingship. Even God’s shown forgiveness of David can be now counted in the many experiences that David could draw on, and so declares “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”(Psalm 37:25)
David’s declaration also draw us in reflection that Jesus’ invitation saying that he is the good shepherd. The one in whom no one can pluck us as sheep from his hand. David came to this place because he surrendered himself to God’s shepherding. And we must do the same. To surrender means to allow God, to lead us, to show where to and where not to go, to provide the bread of life and the living water and indeed to protect us from all evil. As a shepherd would do his sheep. And then to trust God enough to obey and follow him where he leads. All this certainty and enjoyment that David boasts in could only be so, as he depended, obeyed and followed God – his shepherd. It is then through this relationship with God that we can believe, trust and labour on knowing that God will provide all our needs. That we will be safe and secure, shielded and protected, blessed and favoured. And so we possess the solid joy and lasting treasure and he will through us, impact the world. This is the contentment we enjoy as a sheep of Jesus. Yes, we lack nothing. Not that we want everything, but as we discern the good shepherd’s will and purpose for our lives, we yield to the care of him – who knows our needs and attends to them – as we are dear to him who provides even for the birds and the lilies.
Until next week, in our reflection, let us ponder our own relationship with the shepherd in whom David boasts. Let our own reflection lead to a dedication to trust the shepherd’s care and to follow and obey his voice. Then we will understand and truly believe Paul’s declaration in today’s doctrinal text “As servants of God, we have commended ourselves in every way: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet always making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:4, 10)
Dominic J. Blair