I. The first verse of Psalm 23 is the key to the rest of the psalm.
The psalm is saying that if the Lord is your shepherd, then you will not lack for anything you really need.
The word that David uses for “Lord” is the Hebrew word Yahweh.
It is a sacred word to the Hebrews. They would not pronounce it in public meetings.
Yahweh was the one who not only created suns and stars and planets, but also brought the nation Israel into existence.
David is affirming that it is this mighty God who is personally involved in his life. What was true for David is true for Christians.
II. If the Lord is your shepherd, you shall not want for rest.
This is a picture of shepherd life in the Near East. Sheep often need rest, but they do not realize it.
The shepherd makes the sheep lie down in green pastures.
Sheep do not rest unless they are well fed.
Sheep do not rest if they are disturbed by some unexpected threat.
The shepherd not only leads the sheep to green pastures, but often moves among them to force them to lie down.
III. We often need rest, but we will not take it.
Sometimes we need physical rest.
All of us need spiritual rest.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that one of the things God does for His own is to allow them to enter into rest.
He is not talking about the sweet bye-and-bye, but the hard now-and-now.