Psalms 23:1 - 2
NLT - 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.
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Green pastures,shepherd and sheep, all these are connected. David was a shepherd and his background is around sheep and allowing them to find green pastures. Green pastures in David’s time were bare, rocky hills with just enough vegetation to sustain the sheep for that day. The sheep were dependent upon the shepherd to lead them to the forage that they would need for the next day. “Green pastures” for the ancient Israelites were symbolic of the fact that they could trust God for their daily sustenance. “Green Pastures” meant that they had enough for this day and that they could trust God for tomorrow’s portion. Symbolically (v1) indicates the relationship between God and man. Our Lord gives supply to His people (v2). The green pastures indicate that God gives rest to His people. As David rightly pointed out that In the phrase, "He makes me to lie down in green pastures," we really see two distinct provisions of God through Jesus Christ. First, we see rest. David said, "He makes me to LIE DOWN……" Secondly, we see food: David says we lie down, "…..in green pastures." Both speak of not only our POSITION in Jesus Christ, but the walk and life we are to have with Him as our Shepherd.
First, see the big picture: • Psalm 23 • In the Pasture–Adequacy (vv. 1-3). • In the Valley–Serenity (v. 4). • In the Fold–Certainty (v. 5). • In the Father’s House–Eternity (v. 6). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. The Christian life (Psalm 23:2) has 2 elements in it, the contemplative and the active, and both of these are richly provided for. The contemplative(expressing or involving prolonged thought.; pensive; reflective; meditative) is the only one dealing with "GREEN PASTURES." The active part of the Christian life would be being led by still waters. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. What are these "green pastures" but the Scriptures of truth -- always fresh, always rich, and never exhausted? There is no fear of biting the TOTALY Naked (bare) ground where the grass is long enough for the flock to lie down in it. Sweet and full are the doctrines of the gospel; fit food for souls, as tender grass is natural nutriment for sheep. When by faith we are enabled to find rest in the promises, we are like the sheep that lie down in the midst of the pasture; we find at the same moment both animal fodder (provender) and peace, rest and refreshment, serenity and satisfaction. But observe: "He maketh me to lie down." It is the Lord who kindly allows us to perceive the preciousness of his truth and to feed upon it. But He, like the shepherd, may even "break the leg" of one of his sheep if the sheep keeps straying or misbehaving. Controversial as it is, The crook or staff has two purposes, one to draw the sheep back and the second to break the leg of disobedient sheep. A sheep who keeps leaving the flock. The shepherd would break the leg of the sheep so it couldn't run off, and carry it on his shoulders while the sheep healed, caring for the sheep and building a bond with the sheep, so the sheep would love the shepherd and not leave him. It sounds cruel yes, but what is more cruel, letting the sheep go free and be killed in the wild (they are defenseless) or correcting it and keeping it safe? Much like us with our children and God with us.--Wikipedia. How thankful and grateful ought we to be for the power to appropriate the promises! There are some distraught people who would give their right arm if they could but do this. They know the blessedness of it, but they cannot say that this blessedness is theirs. They know of the "green pastures", but they are not made to "lie down" in them. Those believers who have for years enjoyed a "full assurance of faith" should greatly bless their merciful God.
The pastures of this passage are literally a part of the life of David while a shepherd. They are also literally a part of the life of Jesus, the true Shepherd in this passage. David loved and protected his flock, willing to defend them from predators with his life. He also provided all the rest they had need of that pertained to life. This included feeding them, by making them lie down in fresh, tender green pastures by still waters. David is inspired by Holy Spirit to use this imagery to depict the Lord as his loving shepherd who treats him with all of the love, protection, and provision David, and all of His sheep (we) require. Jesus of course is depicted in the New Testament as the Lamb of God. The Gospels also provide proof that He is this Shepherd David speaks of throughout Psalm 23. Jesus will provide all we have need of, all that pertains to sustaining the life needs of this physical body. Jesus demonstrates this in Matthew 14:19 when He commands His flock of followers to lie down in the fresh tender green grass beside the water of Lake Galilee. He makes them (Commanded them to) lie down, and then He feeds them.
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