Have you ever been in a desolate place – no food, no water – nothing to excite you and make you feel good about being there? Well, that’s what the wilderness of Judea is like. That’s where David shepherded his sheep.
You have to leave the land of good and plenty where we have 24-hour supermarkets and refrigerators stocked with food, and insert yourself into the dry, barren environment of southern Judea to appreciate the excitement in David’s heart when he penned the words, “The Lord is my shepherd…he makes me to lie down in green pastures.”
You see, the setting for the Twenty-third Psalm is not the fertile farm lands of mid-America or the blue-grass country of Kentucky. It is the rugged terrain of the Judean Wilderness, where David was a shepherd on the outskirts of Bethlehem. For his sheep to lie down in green pastures would be a dream come true – something a shepherd would long for and search after.
This word, “pastures,” is really the word for a habitation or a home – and in a figurative sense, a pasture for sheep. It carries the imagery of a pleasant place suitable for provision and rest. Now when the word “green” is used with it, it is the idea of a lush place where there is fullness of provision.
Well, in a spiritual sense this is what the Lord does for us. He has given to us His Word, which is truly a cornucopia of blessing. Sheep lie down when they are content – when their hunger has been satisfied. In like manner, the Lord makes us to lie down in order to rest and ruminate – when we have eaten of His Word and are full and satisfied.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
Hey – are you wandering in desolate places? Or are you resting in the green pastures of God’s Word?