“The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23Psalm 23
David knew well the daily needs of his sheep. The flock depended on his ability to lead them to grazing pastures and water. Since land tenure then was considerably different than it is in western countries today, there was freedom to roam. In fact, anyone could move near a well or onto an unused parcel of land and simply begin cultivating it. It was this freedom that made it possible for the shepherd and his flock to exist.
But this sort of existence will seem completely foreign to most of us today. We can’t conceive of just arriving at a piece of land and thinking we could start living on it. The rules for land owning and usage have changed since David’s day, but the concept of the providing Shepherd endures throughout the centuries.
The Lord provides. When our daily provisions run out, when job loss and bankruptcy and home foreclosure become real, when the bank account is in the negative, can we say along with David, “I shall not want”? The answer is yes, because when all else disappears, we still have Jesus.
“Content to let the world go by,/ To know no gain nor loss,/ My sinful self my only shame,/ My glory all the cross.” (Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868)