Preface: This week, join me as we experience God’s love through His Word. We’ll use Psalm 23 as our text, taking one verse each day and spending a little time considering what it means to be loved by God.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
(Psalm 23:2 NIV – New International Version)
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
(Psalm 23:2 NLT – New Living Translation)
He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
(Psalm 23:2 TPT – The Passion Translation)
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
(Psalm 23:2 KJV – King James Version)
The psalmist continues his analogy of God as a loving shepherd and we being under his care.
In verse 1, we heard the psalmist testify that God was meeting all his needs.
In verse 2, we have the first specific example of God meeting all his needs – nourishment for both body and soul.
Green pastures signify abundant food supply; still waters signify drinkable water. In a sheep’s view, this is meeting the physical needs for food and water.
But God’s provisions are not just for the body – this verse lets us know that God provides for our soul as well.
Laying down indicates rest. If the sheep are being pursued, by a predator or driven by the shepherd, there would be no opportunity to rest – the sheep would be under constant stress.
Still waters imply a peaceful environment. If the waters were flooding or the stream was running at a rapid rate, the sheep would not drink for fear of getting swept away in the water.
Likewise, if the water source were a pool of stagnant water, the sheep would not drink. Instead, the Shepherd finds a fresh water source that gently flows as a stream, allowing the sheep to drink in peace and without fear.
While this is not a permanent place to live, it is an oasis of rest and revitalization that the sheep need for a long and productive life. The shepherd knows this and makes sure to provide this place of refreshment for both the body and soul of those in his care.
What does your place of refreshment look like? A quiet, sandy beach? Or a high mountain meadow?
Maybe your place of refreshment is not a “destination” far away as much as it might be a state of mind – a favorite chair by the window with a book and a blanket and a warm cup of tea on a rainy day, or a quiet park bench among the trees on a sunny day with a glass of lemonade.
May you be intentional about finding times of rest and refreshment with the Lord – times to quiet your soul and enjoy His provision of rest.
There will be pressures and foes and hard times – but for now, may you find a few moments of rest for your body and soul.