I have all that I need

Today’s Readings: 2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27, Romans 13:1-14, Psalm 23:1-6, Proverbs 20:11

I really like the first verse of the 23rd Psalm in the New Living Translation.

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.

I have spent much of my life worrying about money. Now that we are no longer paying for college, I thought I would stop worrying, but now I worry about money for retirement. Between the ads on TV and in magazines and the reminders from human resources at work about saving up, I think of this often. Yet Psalm 23 tells me not to worry.

There is a logical pattern in this verse. The reason I have all that I need is simply because the Lord is my Shepherd. Rather than worrying if I will have all that I need to retire, I need to focus on following my Shepherd, on staying close to Him. The Kings of Judah provide clear examples of this in today’s readings as well.

King Uzziah was a powerful king who reigned for over fifty years. He started well, but finished poorly and this is outlined clearly in 2 Chronicles 26. Let’s look at his good start:

Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.

I believe that Zechariah was a priest who taught Uzziah. So long as the king followed God, he did well. He conquered other nations. He had a remarkable standing army and he had excellent architects who helped him fortify his cities, with designs that protected the archers on the walls from the attacks of their enemies. Then he became proud and decided he should be both priest and king. God afflicted him with leprosy, which led to  isolation from his community in both life and death.

King Jotham, his son, was able to reclaim some of the territory that King Uzziah had lost. 2 Chronicles 27 has only good things to say about him.

King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.

For some reason, King Ahaz, was wicked from the very beginning of his reign and he suffered greatly for his commitment to worship other gods. He lost battles to the king of Aram, to Pekah, the king of Israel, to Edom, to the Philistines, finally, to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. That’s where the story ended today. Fortunately, the son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah, is next in line and we will hear about him tomorrow.

Is following the Lord as my Shepherd as simple as it sounds? Well, when the kings of Judah asked God for guidance and were careful to obey Him, they did exceedingly well. Take a moment to read Psalm 23 again and think about what the Shepherd provides to His flock.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

 

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