True believers are often encouraged by the testimony of other saints regarding what they have known of the faithfulness of God in their lives. Such testimonies spur us on to trust the promises and purposes of God, and bring great refreshment when our souls are weary in the battle of faith.
One such testimony that ought to ever strengthen and nourish us comes from King David at the beginning of his well-known 23rd Psalm – “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”
Employing the rich shepherding imagery of the Ancient Near East, imagery which David lived out as a young boy, he sublimely declares his complete, total, ongoing satisfaction in the shepherding care of his God. In the rest of the Psalm, David vividly describes the many dimensions of God’s faithful care. All of these dimensions are the basis upon which David knows such peace, joy, and freedom from want with his God. He was utterly convinced of and secure in the Shepherd’s powerful, skillful, loving care. Thus his soul sang!
This is a truth that we can never hear often enough, nor meditate on frequently enough. We are so easily beset by myriads of temptations toward fear, anxiety, and doubt. Such temptations are usually not just random and occasional in our experience. Indeed, they are incessant and constant. They are temptations that would move us to the realm of unbelief, a realm in which we think of and respond to God as far less than He truly is.
Yet for those who have come to faith in the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for them (Jn. 10:11), who have thus returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of their souls (1 Pet. 2:25), we may and we must give the same testimony as David. God has not changed!! Note that David’s testimony is not
just declaring an objective truth (the Lord is THE Shepherd), but a personal, experiential truth (the Lord is MY Shepherd.)
May you know Him ever more fully as YOUR Shepherd, and thus sing with the hymnwriter:
The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
(Words: Henry W. Baker, in Hymns Ancient and Modern [London: 1868], found at
Learning to be a satisfied sheep with you,