We live in an age when our wants are confused with our needs. We ask each other, “What do you want out of life?” as if we could take anything with us “out of life”. This firm statement of the inspired David is so clearly and plainly speaks to that conversational question: I shall not want. Why? The Lord is my shepherd. The “I shall not want” speaks to us, sinners redeemed in the Good Shepherd, both body and soul, for the next verse fleshes out the 1st theme verse: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. The LORD our Shepherd gives us both food and drink. I shall not want. I shall not be in want. I will want for nothing. It will not be a Mercedes-Benz and for that prayer He probably will not answer:
Luther knows from God’s Word and from life in faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord will provide:
The First Article.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?–Answer.
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.
Luther preached that Psalm 23: 1b, I shall not want, speaks even more about our spiritual life, our life of faith in Jesus Christ. The food and drink and washing are in His Word to us. As sinners, we think that when we have all that we want, we will not be in want but instead we only want even more. The heart is so vast and empty thing without the Lord that even a 1,000 worlds can not fill it. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” This can not be said by us on our own without the Lord. In the phrase “body and soul”, “and” is a connective (Hermann Sasse). Sin divorces body from soul and vice versa…or tries to do so. The only way this schism is healed is by God’s Word in which and in Whom we do not want. Again, the next verse: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Our Lord, our Shepherd does so to us His sheep so prone to wander, prone to leave the One I love: Keep my heart and seal it for Thy courts above.