So many folks I know focus on v.3 and the valley of the shadow of death, that they miss out on what I think is the real key to this Psalm.
Yes, there is no doubt that we can fear no evil brought against us for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. But why? Why is it that we can depend upon God to be that way? Where does the confidence expressed by David in v.1, The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want come from.
I read a bunch of commentaries (a dozen or more) on this Psalm and they all said pretty much the same thing ‘A Psalm of Confidence In the Lord.’ Many danced around the point that I am aiming at but none hit the mark. Let me see if I can bring it home. In another reference to Shepherd’s John 10:27-28 Jesus says: 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Do you see it, David understood some 1000+ years earlier than John that it was an intimate relationship with the Lord that makes one able to say, The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Jesus’s sheep, His elect hear his voice, they know him, follow him, love him, and trust in him for eternal life. That is the real key to Psalm 23 and for me the real key to walking the Christian walk.
Do you have that relationship with the Lord today where you can say I shall not want! If not I pray you will contact your local Bible church, or us here at FSM and FSMWO for more information.