The King of Love My Shepherd Is
The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth
and, where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me,
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death's dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me,
thy rod and staff my comfort still;
thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thine unction grace bestoweth;
and, oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!
And so, through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.
The 23rd Psalm reminds us who is in control and how the Lord's presence provides for us in all circumstances. I love the music of this hymn, with its affirming message of scripture. Verse 3 expresses our confession, our need for rescue, how easily we "nibble ourselves lost." Nibbling doesn't seem so bad; usually it's not done with intentional rebellion, but consequences eventually catch us by surprise. Do we overindulge because we don't trust in tomorrow's provision? Verses 1, 2 & 5 declare we are not needy, but fed by God in body and soul in every circumstance. Saint Paul echoes the Psalm in Philippians 4:11-13, experiencing the secret of being content whether well fed or hungry, because the Lord gives us strength to do all things.
Good Shepherd, help us to trust in Your presence and provision, sharing our daily bread like manna. Gifts from Heaven are meant to bless and sustain everyone, not to be stockpiled by a few. Teach us to be good stewards and shepherds in Your name. Amen.