Chapter 10
The LORD is My Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalm 23:1-6)

God cares for his people, for those who truly follow him.  Scripture is full of examples of how God provides for his people.  Consider a few verses:

Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!  The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.  (Psalm 34:9-10)

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.  (Psalm 37:25)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Psalm 84:11)

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  (1Peter 3:12)

Did you notice how all those statements of provision were conditional?  They apply to those who “fear him,” “who seek the LORD,” who are “righteous,” “who walk uprightly.”  I am not aware of any scriptures which indicate that God will provide for all the needs of those who don’t truly follow him.

Some might rightly inquire:  What is included in “no good thing does he withhold”?  It is human nature to think first that this applies to worldly wealth.  However, consider the following verses:

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.  (Psalm 37:16-17)

Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.  (Proverbs 15:16)

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.  (Proverbs 16:8)

How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.  (Proverbs 16:16)

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.  (Proverbs 17:1)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  (Matthew 6:11)

From God’s perspective, it seems that “good things” tend to have spiritual value more than material value.  God appears to be first concerned with our spiritual well-being, rather than our physical comfort or worldly success.

For Further Reflection

Do you value material wealth more than spiritual wealth?

Matthew 6:25-34:  Don’t worry, seek first his kingdom.

Ephesians 1:3-14:  Every spiritual blessing in Christ.

1Timothy 6:6-10:  Godliness with contentment.

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