June 5 I Saturday
2 Chronicles 23-24
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” —Psalm 23:1, KJV
The opening verse comes from one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture—the “Shepherd Psalm.” Though there are some variances in the English translation of this verse, each translation communicates the same truth. The Amplified Bible expresses, “The LORD is my shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.” The Contemporary English Version declares, “You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.” The Douay-Rheims Bible translation asserts, “The LORD ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.” The Message reads, “GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.” And The Young’s Literal Translation states, “Jehovah [is] my shepherd, I do not lack.”
What does it mean to “not want” or “not lack”? Contentment is not simply the result of an environment that is comfortable and sufficient. Contentment is an attitude and disposition of the mind. It is possible to have everything that seems right around us and be discontented, while it is also possible to have everything around us falling apart and still be content.
Eve and Paul from the Bible serve as two contrasting attitudes towards contentment. When Eve was in the Garden of Eden, she had everything—the environment was beautiful, the food was great and her husband was fine. But our circumstances are never enough if our hearts are not satisfied. Hence, when the devil dangled the forbidden fruit before her, she saw that it was good for food, would make her wise and gave her something she supposedly lacked; she took and ate it. That was when everything fell into a mess.
Paul, however, wrote to the Philippians while imprisoned saying, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12). He learned the secret that contentment had nothing to do with his circumstances, but everything to do with the disposition of his heart.
“To not want” is a choice. We need to make this choice because we are constantly bombarded by a culture that tells us what we have is not enough. Advertisements are designed to make us dissatisfied and to want what it is that they are offering us. Yet, we will be able to find contentment in any situation we face because there is adequate provision for us when the Lord is our Shepherd. Are we ready to trust God as our Good Shepherd and believe He will guide us, lead us and put us in the right place?
Prayer: Lord God, You are my Shepherd and I have no want. Help me to find contentment in whatever circumstances that I face because You are with me. Thank You, Lord.