“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters”
As I think of Psalm 23:2a and the green pastures. My mind goes to a nice spring day with lots of tender, sweet, new fresh grass in the field. I see all the sheep laying there on the soft grass either sleeping or drifting off. Nearby is a large shade tree with David the young man, as a shepherd, sitting there playing his harp.
The sheep have eaten of this tender green grass until their tummies are full and now with David playing this beautiful, sweet music on his harp it puts the sheep to sleep.
Now most often you will find sheep laying down sleeping. Not very often do sheep sleep standing up like some other animals do. The other day we were at this farmer’s type park and they had a petting zoo. There was this one little sheep standing by a tree with his eyes closed. He looked like a statue or frozen in time. We watched for some time before he moved. That was one little sheep that was sleeping standing up, that is the exception to the rule.
As I think of the sheep in Psalm 23, very contented just to lay and sleep with full tummies and beautiful music. The shepherd knew he could make his sheep lie down and be contented if they were full from eating and that helped to make them sleepy.
Then there is the young child. Most children do not really want to take a nap, but we know that especially young children need that nap. Many times children are like sheep, after they eat their lunch and are no longer hungry, with full tummies they will lay down on their bed with some quite music and before long they are asleep.
What about us as adults? Of course we love to eat and most of the time we eat to much. We certainly should by this time in our lives be eating more than physical food. We should be filling up on spiritual food from the Word of God and spending time in prayer with Him.
We surely need the spiritual food but we also need to get rest. As adults we get so busy with daily living and even the work of the church, that we do not take time to get proper rest we need. We think we are not sheep or children and do not need to rest and sleep.
Without being feed properly from God’s Word and getting proper physical rest we just can not do what God has for us to do, we will only wear ourselves out and do no one any good.
The other day I was out in the 90 plus degree sun most of the day at an event. Most of the time I am not out that long in that kind of heat. By 9:00 p. m. I was in bed. The next day being Sunday, I woke later then normal, got partly ready for church and was so tired I laid back down and went to sleep. Then in the afternoon I took another nap as I still needed more sleep.
Sometimes God has to just plain slow us down to get physical rest also spiritual food and rest in Him.
Even Jesus when He was here on earth took time to rest and be alone with His Father. If Jesus needed that how much more do we need the same.
If we fail to listen to the shepherd Jesus, He can make us lie down and rest. Our Shepherd knows best.
“He leadeth me beside the still waters”
I think back to the Bible and David as a loving shepherd. When his sheep needed water, he was very careful to make sure he didn’t take them to any kind of rushing waters, water that was falling over rocks or creeks where there may be fast moving water. The sheep would be scared and afraid to go to the water to drink. If sheep get in fast moving water they could be carried away.
A shepherd like David would never lead his sheep where there was any danger to them.
The young child may be afraid of fast moving water. They would not want to go into a fast moving current of any kind.
A young child may be by the sea shore playing in the sand totally unaware of any danger. An unexpected large wave could come and wash over the child. A parent that loves his child is not going to let him or her in the fast moving current or leave them alone on the sea shore for a wave to get them. The parent as a shepherd will only lead their young child to the quiet, slow waters.
Then there is us as adults, we get so caught up with the fast moving pace of life. Many times it seems like we are caught in the raging river and unable to get out. How did that happen? Because we failed to listen to the shepherd who wanted to lead us by the still waters. On hot summer days we need lots of water to drink. We need to come to the fountain of living water that our Shepherd has for us and take time to drink.
Wether it be the sheep, a child or us as adults, the Shepherd is there to lead us all the way.