Psalm 23:1-3a – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
We don’t always get what we think we need, but we do always get what God knows we need. This is true in our present day and throughout biblical history. God has always been shepherding his people and providing for their needs, not necessarily their wants.
God promised miraculous blessings to Abraham: a child in his old age, a child that would become a people, God’s people, and be more numerous than the stars in the sky. But Abraham tried to speed up God’s perfect timing and have a child with his wife’s servant instead of with his wife Sarah. They thought they knew better and likely even thought they were fulfilling what God wanted, but God had a better better in mind. And Abraham and Sarah’s impatience caused much hardship. Yet, God was still faithful to His promise and led Abraham towards the fulfillment of his and Sarah’s son Isaac, the seed what would become the great nation of Israel.
Fast forward several hundred years, God’s people saw the nations around them had kings, and they thought they needed one, too. God knew they were rejecting His sovereign rule and reign, but He relented to their demands and gave them King Saul. He warned them of the hardship they would face with a king, and they still wanted what they thought they needed. Saul failed them, but God soon gave them a king after His own heart—David, who ruled and reigned with equity and justice. David was a shepherd who followed the guidance of the Good Shepherd. But David succumbed to sin as well, causing heartache and oppression on himself and his family.
God’s people were often oppressed, most often because of their sin. But God, because He is merciful and gracious, promised another King who would come from the line of David and rule with equity and justice. God’s people were ready and expecting the Messiah, yet many missed Him. They expected Him to deliver them from Roman oppression, to physically rule and reign like David did. They wanted and longed for that. Yet, what they really needed was freedom from the oppression of sin. That is what God was providing through Jesus. God took on flesh to take the punishment for man’s sin by dying on the cross. And He rose from the dead to ensure the greatest need would forever be provided. Jesus came to give us what we always needed, though it wasn’t even within our comprehension of what we wanted.
We cannot always trust where our hearts lead us. Our desires will betray us, just like they did Abraham and David. We do not need much of what we think we want. But God will always lead us towards what we truly need.
Channing Gillespie’s song, “I Shall Not Want,” reminds us that we should not fear the future for God has always been faithful. We should not worry for He has and will always be enough. So let us join in this chorus inspired by Psalm 23, “From the pastures to the valley; I will remember all You have done; Lord You are my shepherd; And I shall not want; Lord You are my shepherd; And I shall not want.”
Channing and Jacob will be partnering again for the second annual NIGHT OF HOPE on September 25. Tickets have been graciously paid for by the community for the first 100 to register. We would love for you to be a part of this inspirational night of lecture, testimony, and songs of hope.
View the next devotional here.