Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 6th May 2020.
What do you need today? What do you lack? Right now, during this pandemic, many of us are realising what we need and what we lack. What might they be for you? Food? Money? Work? Time? Friends? Or something less tangible. Comfort? Patience? Peace? Wisdom? What is it that you need? What is it that you lack?
But before you answer those questions, let’s get our hearts right. Let’s hear the words of the psalmist:
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.Psalm 23:1 (NIV)
The words of this psalm are familiar to so many of us. Yet these simple, familiar words should also be a source of great encouragement to us today. Few verses in the Word of God compare to the riches contained in so few words.
The LORD God
As always, the psalmist takes us deep into firm foundations where we can find refuge. “The LORD is my shepherd.” The LORD God, Yahweh, is his name.
We’re introduced to him in the Garden of Eden “when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:4). He is the one who “formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). He is the one who created all things, who created you and me.
He is the LORD God who gives us work and food to eat:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden…”Genesis 2:15–16 (NIV)
He provides the setting where people can enter into relationship. Relationship not only with him, but with other people who will share in life together (Genesis 2:18). We learn all this within Genesis 2 alone. Through the rest of the Biblical narrative, this is how God reveals himself.
And this God—the Creator, the life giver, the work giver, the food giver, the relationship giver—he is my shepherd. He is your shepherd. Let that sink in… The LORD is your shepherd!
The LORD is my shepherd
He is your shepherd. The shepherd cares for his sheep. The shepherd guards his sheep. The shepherd finds food and water for his sheep. The shepherd guides his sheep through rough terrain. The shepherd watches for stray sheep. The shepherd seeks the lost sheep. The shepherd tended to the sick sheep. The shepherd attends to mother ewes and delivers new lambs.
The LORD is your shepherd. He cares for you. He guards your life from the evil one. He provides you food and water. He guides you through the rough terrain of life. He watches for your straying steps. He seeks you out when you get lost. He tends to you in your sickness. He attends to you in your moments of need.
I lack nothing!
What do you need today? What do you lack? The psalmist reminds us that the LORD is our shepherd. So, we lack nothing. There is no need the shepherd will not provide. There is no lack when we stay in the care of the good shepherd.
Remember the LORD God is your shepherd, but he is also the Creator. The life giver. The work giver. The food giver. The relationship giver. He is the Almighty God, heaven is his throne and earth is his footstool (Isaiah 66:1). He is the Judge of the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). He is your shepherd.
Can the Almighty Creator not provide what you need? Can he guarantee you will lack nothing?
The good shepherd lays down his life
Friend, if that’s not enough, remember the words of Jesus:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”John 10:11 (NIV)
The LORD God is my shepherd who gives us Jesus, the good shepherd. “The good shepherd [who] lays down his life for the sheep.” He doesn’t abandon his sheep like a hired hand, but he knows his sheep by name.
Jesus lays down his life for you. The good shepherd lays down his life to care for you. His death frees you from slavery to sin. His death guards your life from the snares of death.
His body broken and his blood shed so that we will lack nothing. He is the Bread of Life who says:
“…whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”John 6:35 (NIV)
He gives the Holy Spirit to guide you through the rough terrain of life. The Spirit convicts you of sin and reminds you of the forgiveness found in his grace. He seeks to draw you close to the Father even when you are distant from him. He tends to your broken heart and attends to you in your loneliness.
What do you need today? What do you lack? Remember the LORD is your shepherd, you lack nothing. As the Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11; that’s a meditation for another day!)
Lord God, you are our shepherd. Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd, who lays down your life for your sheep. For us. Holy Spirit, you point us back to the Father, the Creator, the giver and provider of all we need.
So, Lord God we thank you. Thank you that you are the shepherd we can trust to provide all we need. For in you, we lack nothing. Give us today our daily bread. Help us to trust you, help us to look to you for our daily bread.
Thank you Jesus. You are the good shepherd, laying down your life for us. In you, we are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. We are chosen to be holy and blameless in your sight and redeemed by your blood.
Help us to remember and rest in these truths. Help us to know them deep in our spirits, help us to grow in our dependence on you, and help us show others your faithfulness and goodness through our lives.
In Jesus’ name, amen.