“The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want..”
Is this a command, or a result?
In our function driven cultures and mini cultures that constantly demand and expect things of us it is easy to read the beautiful shepherd’s psalm as yet another set of instructions. But to do this would truly undermine the intention of the psalmist.
Consider the next few lines,
“He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of righteousness for the sake of HIS name…”
The subject of the psalm is not David, it’s God! David is the direct object receiving the actions of an almighty Being whom he calls his Shepherd. A shepherd knows his sheep intimately. He feeds them, tends their illnesses, guides them the right way because they OFTEN want to go another. In short, the image of God as shepherd implies a complete and total love I his part, and complete dependence on ours. Now let’s go back to the opening line, “I shall not want” and ask the question again. Is this a command or a result?
The text clearly shows that the rest, peace and contentedness of the author comes NOT from his own effort, but are the direct result of one who looks to God as his or her Shepherd. God has accepted responsibility for you and adopted you into his flock, his family. Of course the result of that is to simply say “I shall want for nothing.”