Learning Contentment

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We live in a world where the above verse is becoming more difficult to live by on a daily basis.  We are blessed to live in a country where we have access to so many things so readily.  The problem with that is it develops a hunger for more and more, a vicious hunger that is not satisfied and always wants more.  This hunger drives us into unhealthy lifestyles that seek to fill this hunger. There is only one cure for this insatiable hunger: Psalms 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The idea of wanting is linked to a lacking, being less than others, bereaving, failing, decreasing in value or intensity, defeated, and beaten down. Think about how these concepts define our culture.  We are a culture in want.  We are a broken people who search to validate our existence in the things we own and acquire. The motivation of the hunger is to appease our longing for validation and community.  Our culture points us away from God and towards self-promotion and success based upon the things we have.

The psalmist’s solution to all of this is a reminder that the Lord is our Shepherd. A term he understood well.  David was a shepherd and so to use this word to describe His Redeemer and Lord should be examined.

  1. A shepherd is a protector.  David tells King Saul about how a shepherd delivers the lamb from the mouth of the lion in 1 Samuel 17:34-35. The Bible compares our adversary to a lion in 1 Peter 5:8.
  2. A Shepherd cares for his flock. Isaiah 40:11 speaks of His carrying the sheep who are unable to walk on their own, it speaks of His feeding the sheep.
  3. John 10:3-4 describes the shepherd as one who leads from the front and the sheep follow His voice. I love how these verses state that the Shepherd calls His sheep by name, a showing of his intimate knowledge of His sheep.
  4. Jesus tells a parable to describe the concern of the shepherd for his flock.  In Matthew 18:12-13, Jesus describes the search for one lamb that has gone astray.

Jesus is our Lord and Shepherd, place your trust in Him, find your validation in His words, let Him be your comforter and healer.

Phil

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