I Shall Not Want

Joel Sanchez 

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

If you have been around church for any period of time, these are familiar words. They make up the opening line of what is probably the most popular Psalm in the Bible.

The words are simple, yet profound. David doesn’t go on to explain what it is that he won’t want. It seems that it’s an all-encompassing statement that he is satisfied, that he is full, that he has plenty, that God, his Shepherd, has provided for all his needs.

In just a little over a week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of us will gather around the dinner table with more food than is possible for anyone to consume. And perhaps before the feast begins, someone will utter a prayer thanking God for all that He has provided. This scene will be repeated across millions of families in the United States.

The following day, millions of people will stand in lines across America’s stores and shopping malls to start the Christmas shopping frenzy. It is an ironic juxtaposition. One day we are thanking God for all that He has provided and for how blessed we are, and for the fact that we have more than enough. The following day, we are pushing everyone in sight to get a hold of a laptop, or a big screen TV.

As Christmas and Thanksgiving approach, and the world tells us that the measure of our success is directly related to the strength of our spending power, let us be reminded of David’s simple, yet profound, opening words, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”

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