Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. (NLT)
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (NIV)
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want. (KJV)(NASB)(ESV)
(Strongs H2637 “i shall not want” to lack, be without, decrease, be lacking, have a need)
As a child, I was taught everything from the KJV. Being a child, I was at the mercy of my teachers to grasp application. “I shall not want” came across to me as a command, instead a statement of faith to the goodness of God our provider, our Creator.
When I was a small child, memorizing the 23rd Psalm, was applauded. In my head, I could not get past “I shall not want”. I wanted! There was no way to verbalize that at the time, and at any effort, the feeling of condemnation, guilt for wanting/needing paralyzed me. It took me on a path of “not measuring up”, “not being what I was told to be by God”. This was truly my beginning of believing that God had not chosen me…you see…I needed, and I wanted…and it said.. “I shall not want”.
While looking over this with fresh thinking and seeing it all today in the Light of what I know to be true…its meaning is the faith that God will provide all that I need and give me the desires of my heart, as it falls together with HIS plan for me. God wants us to give HIM our needs, and our wants, and HE loves us, all the while knowing how HE has planned to provide. I was not a bad unwanted child in HIS eyes for needing, I was already chosen before the foundations of the earth were spoken into existence.
Wondering how many children, recite this, and are not taught to see the relationship? My God, My Shepherd…who keeps HIS eyes on me, doesn’t let me ever fall so far that HE can not reach me…knows when i need…then provides, sooo that “I shall not want”.
One response to “But I want! Psalm 23:1”
Darla, I am so sorry for the misunderstanding of the KJV’s “I shall no want.” This blew me away. I, too, grew up with KJV but truly never ever saw it as a command. Wow, how Satan does deceive us.
He does take care of our basic needs and more. So abundantly, actually, if we could only both recognize, but also admit, His provision.
But, having said that, we also do desire. Many things. And that is not always bad. Yes, we need to learn to be content, but if there were no longings for better things, we would never improve. It’s a subtlty, but a reality as well.