"THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD."
"The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want."--Psa. 23:1.
IN comparing himself to a shepherd, the Lord made a very apt illustration of his care for his people--a care which is always solicitous for their welfare, watchful for their interests, patient with their youth and inexperience and untiring in its ministry of love.
But it is only when the individual can say in his heart, The Lord is my Shepherd, that this blessed ministry of the good Shepherd can be realized. It is when we become his sheep that we learn the value of the Shepherd's care; and the man who has had experience under the care of the good Shepherd can truly say with the Psalmist, "I shall not want." He shall not want for the temporal necessities of the present life--"Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." (Isa. 33:16; Matt. 6:33,34.) He shall not want for light and be left to walk in the darkness of this world, but unto him shall be given the light of life. (John 8:12.) He shall not want the necessary care and discipline to fit him for the future life; "for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." (Heb. 12:6.) He shall not lack the consolations of divine grace in times of trial and affliction; for it is written, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9.) He shall not want for fellowship and sympathy; for the Lord himself hath said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5); and again, "Lo, I am with you alway."--Matt. 28:20.
Surely no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly--as true sheep. He will protect them in every danger, and guard them with a shepherd's care.