DayBreaks for 9/23/14 – Green Pastures, Still Waters
Psalm 23:2 (NKJV) – He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
I’ve been to Israel and I can tell you, I sure didn’t see many green pastures. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year – and the green pastures would have been higher up on the mountain ranges or perhaps we were just in the wrong places – but water seemed to be rather scarce, and precious.
The Shepherd of David’s beloved psalm knows where to find the green pastures. He leads his sheep there…and then, he “makes” them lie down.
How do you make sheep lie down? You sure don’t do it by yelling at them, smacking them with a staff or chasing them around until they’re so tired that they collapse. No, those things won’t work with sheep, and chasing them can even lead to their demise. You see, sheep are very timid and frightened creatures. And that’s what makes this statement even more wonderful.
The shepherd knows what sheep are like. The way to get them to lie down is to take them into a peaceful place, to even sing to them, to talk soothingly to calm their fearful little hearts. That’s how you make sheep lie down! Jesus makes us lie down in utter peace and stills our racing hearts.
And he doesn’t make us lie down in the middle of the desert, but he has surrounded us with sustenance. The sheep aren’t worrying about where their next meal will come from because the shepherd has always taken care of them and they trust he will…after all, just look around!
Last night, did you “lie down” in peacefulness? Or was your heart racing, wondering how you and your family will survive, or how you’ll do this-or-that? Were you worrying about where the next meal will come from? The sheep don’t manufacture the grass that surrounds them in verse two. When talking about the shepherd in this Psalm, it is the shepherd Himself who manufactures the grass, waters it, and provides it in abundance. All the worrying of all the sheep in the flock can’t produce a single blade of grass.
And the still waters? Sheep are terrified of flowing water: they can’t swim well at all, especially when their wool is thick. They need still water: this, too, the Shepherd knows.
Still water, green meadows, laying down to rest – what a wonderful Shepherd we have!
PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, let us rest in your meadow this day and forevermore may we be comforted by your Shepherd song to us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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