If we look at today’s psalm, we get an idea of what a shepherd is expected to do – God’s expectation/promise – not our own desires.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. -- this doesn’t mean that God is going to give us what we desire – but he will provide for our needs.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. -- Sheep can’t drink from running water – they need a still pool of water - so God provides for both our physical and spiritual thirst.
3 He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake. -- the barren hills outside Jerusalem are crisscrossed with paths, many of which lead nowhere, so God leads us to the correct paths where he wants us to go.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. -- we can trust the Lord even in times of dire need. His promise is true, He will be with us in times of our greatest need as well as in times of joy.
5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. -- God's promise was not that I would have a perfect life or that no trouble would befall me, but that God would be with me and would provide for me even in times of need.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. -- We can trust in God's goodness and mercy, and through that trust, God will bring us at last into the fullness of His joy and His presence.