Few, if any, pieces of literature have been more beloved than Psalm 23. Over the past 3,000 years, an innumerable host of people around the globe has found comfort and peace from it. David begins the psalm with a simple, yet profound declaration: “The Lord is my shepherd.”
No animal provides such an accurate, yet unflattering, representation of the spiritual characteristics of humanity than do sheep. Like humanity, it is a creature that easily gets lost, frequently wanders off, is virtually defenseless against all predators, is quickly frightened, is incapable of finding food or water for itself, and can be quite stubborn. In short, it needs constant care and around-the-clock watchfulness.
For David, Jehovah is the shepherd Who provides constant care and watchfulness. So vigilant is that care, so diligent is that watchfulness that David can accurately say: “I shall not want.” And, as he explains so eloquently in verses 2-5, he shall not want for rest when weary, nourishment when hungry, refreshment when thirsty, restoration when erring, guidance when confused, companionship when frightened, comfort when weak, protection when endangered, peace when threatened, or healing when hurt.
Because of the wondrous shepherd, David’s confident expectation is goodness and mercy all the days of this life and an eternal home in the house of the Lord when this life is done.
What a Shepherd Jehovah is!