07 April, 2015

I Shall Not Want

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23

I feel like I've known this psalm all my life. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” was possibly one of the first Bible verses that I learnt – and not from memorising but just hearing and knowing. Over a bit more time, I guess, I came to know the whole thing off by heart. But despite the fact that this psalm has always been a part of my knowledge, it was only last Friday night that I really learnt what the second phrase meant: “I shall not want.”

I was reading along in a book, when all of a sudden it quoted the first verse of psalm 23 from some translation I'm not familiar with: “The Lord is my shepherd, therefore can I lack nothing.” What?! I don't know what I thought “I shall not want” meant before, but this idea - because the Lord is my shepherd, it is impossible for me to lack anything that I need - was new.

I checked a couple of other translations, and yes, sure enough: “You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.” (CEV) “Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.” (WEB)

So from now on, every time I hear or read, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” it's going to be a reminder that God, my shepherd, cares about me so much, He will never allow me to lack something that I need. Therefore, I can trust him.

On another note, probably because of being familiar with it, I've always sort of disregarded Psalm 23 as being... common or childish, or something. But after typing it out above, I just noticed how nice the words are. They're so descriptive and picturesque; imaginative. It's beautiful really; I think it's my next favourite bible passage. I don't know how I never noticed, or stopped to think about it before.

Is there anything else I've missed? What's your favourite verse or phrase from Psalm 23?


  1. I love the verse where it talks about my "cup runneth over". Often times I can be so quick to forget to thank my Heavenly Father for all His blessings, even the small common ones! How often I take things for granted such as the blessing of another day, or simply the blessing of having all 5 senses! Thanks for the wonderful reminder!

    1. That's so true as well; we've got much to be thankful for! There's so much in this Psalm...
      Thanks for sharing, Rosi! God bless. :)


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