The Lord Is My Shepherd

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Jesus Christ cannot be more than He is, nor will He ever be less. He cannot deny Himself: “Jesus Christ yesterday, Jesus Christ today, and Jesus Christ forever.” Here (Heb. 12) we have Jehovah Jesus, the unchanging One.
When on earth, at the close of His unremitting service of love, He asked His disciples:
“When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything?”
And they replied: “Nothing.”
And since He has died for us upon the Cross, and is risen and has ascended to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God, has the apparent distance of heaven and glory where He is seated now at the right hand of God, lessened His perfect human sympathy, or has it weakened His divine power? No, from heaven, that same voice of our heavenly Shepherd assures us through the inspired pen of the apostle:
“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “Never,” means, not a single moment. God always means what He says. So that we may boldly say:
Is not this promise, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” our blessed Lord’s answer from heaven to that expression of calm confidence of His flock on earth,
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”
If His sheep, through grace, know His voice, surely He, in His love, knows theirs.
But, dear Christian reader, of what kind of want does our verse speak? Of outward wants, such as food, raiment, etc.? As to them, our gracious Shepherd refers us to our “Father which is in heaven,” and “seeth in secret,” and knoweth that we have need of these things. But, He continues, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and these things shall be added.”
Yes, beloved fellow-pilgrim and fellow-heir of glory, the Father, Who spared not His only-begotten Son, when we were His enemies, but delivered Him up for us all, (how lightly do we often read verses like this, and how little have we penetrated into the mines of divine love and wealth contained in them,) “shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Blessed he His name, He has never failed to supply in due time and in His own way every real need of His children.
In due time the Lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world appeared in this scene of sorrow, sin, and death, as “God manifest in the flesh.”
In due time, when we were without strength, “Christ died for us.”
In due time, “on the third day,” God raised Him from the dead.
In due time, “when the day of Pentecost was fully come,” the Holy Ghost was sent from heaven.
In due time, “He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.”
Christian reader! will not He, who had provided from all eternity, and gave in due time His Son, the bread of life, and His Spirit, the living water, for our greatest need, also supply our little wants in due time.? We cannot, we shall not want.
But we must not confound need with want. Our wants, like those of little children, are very many, and, like theirs, often very foolish too. We cannot praise enough the loving wisdom of our Father, who always supplies our need, but not our wants, unless it be to show us sometimes the bitter results of having our own ways and desires. Would that our needs were also our wants. But just here it is. that our selfish and superficial hearts constantly betray themselves.
There is no danger of our outward or temporal needs not being our wants too. They are quickly perceived, and keenly felt, and even anticipated often in a way very little to the honor of that “manner of love which the Father hath bestowed upon us,” and which we are so graciously invited to “behold” (1 John 3:11Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)).
But, Christian reader, how is it with our sense of our greatest, that is, of our inward spiritual need? However real on our part, the feeling and acknowledgment of that need may be, rest assured, the reality and greatness of it surmount immeasurably the feeble estimate we have of it. But, just as our Father and God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, supplies the temporal wants of His children, according to His own Divine wisdom and love; so does His blessed Son, once the Lamb slain for our sins, as the “shepherd and bishop of our souls,” provide for all our spiritual needs, not as we feel them (though even this only through the grace of God) in our feeble measure (through our sad neglect of that grace), but as He sees them, and according to His own perfect estimate of them.
Thou failest not—above wants, cares, and sighing
A Father’s love Divine, all need supplying,
Us guideth still upon our homeward road;
That faileth not.
Thou failest not—’bove havoc, wand’ring, straying,
A Shepherd’s eye, once closed in death surveying,
Restores and comforts still with staff and rod;
That faileth not.