Take your Bible KJV and turn to Psalm 23:1. The second part reads “I shall not want.” It does not say I shall not “need,” it says “want [lack].” God desired the children of Israel to have more than their needs met. He wanted them to have the desires of their hearts. (Psalm 37:4-5; 34:9-10; 84:11). God’s desire for us is not less than this. Jesus Christ came that we might have a life that is more than abundant. (John 10:10). When we live less than abundantly in any way (spiritually, mentally and physically), we make God a liar and His Word is not living in us (renewed mind: Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). We must see a picture in our minds of ourselves living in great abundance and then God can bring it to pass. He is able and willing; all we need to do is believe.
There are 14 blessings for Israel (as sheep of God’s flock) revealed in Psalm 23.
1. The Lord is their Shepherd.
2. They shall have no lack.
3. They rest in choice green pastures
4. They are led to still water.
5. Their soul is restored.
6. They are led down the right paths.
7. They have safe passage through all dangers.
8. They have the Lord’s constant companionship.
9. They have the Lord’s protection and comforting guidance.
10. They feast in safety while the Lord protects them.
11. Their wounds are healed.
12. They have plenty of wholesome drink.
13. They have confidence that their lives will be blessed.
14. They know they will dwell in God’s house forever.
I wrote in Part One, “Jesus’ primary mission was not to save Gentiles (you and me): it was to save Israel.” And that is exactly what took place on the day of Pentecost. We learn in Acts 2:3-4 the first group of people to receive the gift from the Holy Spirit (thus being born-again) were the 12 Apostles (Jews). The second group to receive were about 3000 Jews. (Acts 2:14, 41). Now comes some really good news, “For the promise is unto you [Israel], and to your children [the descendants of Israel], and to all [who will believe, like you and me] that are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39). Has God called you? If you have repented and received remission of sins, if you are a Christian, born again of His Spirit, God has called you.
These wonderful words of comfort were given by God to His adopted children, Israel. Because they were children only by adoption and because Christ had not yet fulfilled the Law, God was limited in what He could do for them. Even as beautiful and fantastic as these promises are, you and I have much more.
Read Romans 5:9-20 and 8:35-39. As God’s children through the new birth made available on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), we truly have “much more.”
Those things which were written aforetime are for our learning. (Romans 15:4). We can learn of God’s great love and concern for Israel as their shepherd. We can also see that much more is available to us
for He is our Father. We have “much more,” not because we deserve it, but because “God so loved the world that He gave His only son….” It is by grace that we are what we are in Christ Jesus.
Remember—no matter how dark things may look around you, God is able and willing to do for you everything that is promised in Psalm 23 and much, much more. (Ephesians 3:16-20).
Another reason I say print 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in my funeral program is because of what God has promised in Verse 16, “…the dead in Christ (Christians) shall rise first,” even before any of the Old Testament saints, including David who wrote the Psalms. Amen
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