Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Psalm 23.2

The Good Shepherd who provides for us

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (KJV)

12 March, 2014

At the cross on Calvary’s hill the Son of God Jesus Christ was suspended between earth and heaven. There He bore the sins of the entire earth in His body. He carried your sins and mine on His own back that we might have salvation and life. The Shepherd-King David describes how that was carried out for us in the second verse of this most beloved Psalm. Here we see how the Good Shepherd who gives His life for us. David speaks to us tonight reminding us: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

There is a great benefit in being in the Savior’s presence. The Christian knows that God is with him and that He will take care of him now.  But what about tomorrow? What about tomorrow?   As we look to the future we can expect the benefit of the Savior’s mercy and care especially when we need it the most.

1.      With the Savior by our side David can speak of a position of security - “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

Consider the happiness of the saints as the sheep of God's pasture. They are well placed, well laid: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. We have all the supports and comforts of this life given to us from God's good hand.  Our daily bread comes from Him, as He alone is our Father. This greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who will relish only in that which pleases the senses.  But to a godly man, who tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, and by faith relishes that, though he has but little of the world, to him, it is a green pasture. Ps. 37:16 reminds us: “Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked.”  And in Proverbs 15:16-17 we are reminded: “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure and turmoil with it. Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”

God's ordinances are the green pastures in which food is provided for all believers. The word of life is the nourishment of the new man. It is milk for babes, pasture for sheep, never barren, never served up bland, never parched, but always a green pasture for faith to feed in. God makes His saints to lie down; He gives them quiet and contentment in their own minds, whatever their lot is; their souls dwell at ease in him, and that makes every pasture green.

A question for us to ponder. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances of the Good Shepherd? Let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us lie down in them, abide in them; this is my rest forever. It is by a constancy of the means of grace that the soul is fed.

2. David now speaks of the progress of Salvation “He leadeth me beside the still waters”     

We are well guided, well led. The shepherd of Israel guides Joseph like a flock; and every believer is under the same guidance: “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Those that feed on God's goodness must follow His direction. He leads them by His providence, by his word, by his Spirit. He disposes of their affairs for the best, according to His counsel. He disposes their affections and actions according to His command. He directs their eye, their way, and their heart, into His love.

The still waters by which He leads them, is not only a pleasant prospect, but a cooling portion, a reviving cordial, a refreshing drink when they are thirsty and weary. God provides for His people not only food and rest, but refreshment also and pleasure. The consolations of God, the joys of the Holy Ghost, are these still waters, by which the saints are led, streams, which flow from the fountain of living waters and make glad the city of our God.

God leads His people, not to the stagnate and standing waters that corrupt and gather filth. Not to the troubled sea, nor to the rapid rolling floods, but to the silent waters; for the still but running waters agree best with those spirits that flow out towards God and yet do it silently - the prayers of His saints.

We lie down in security – “Come unto Me...” Jesus has told us, “...all Ye that are weary...” wearied by the troubles and burdens of life. “Come unto Me... all who are heavy-laden...” Heavy laden with the guilt and burdens of sin.

Come unto Me...” the Good Shepherd has said, “...and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." {Matthew 11:28-30}  He will supply us with all that we will ever need for our soul. “It is well, it is well, with my soul.” He alone will lead to the quiet waters, which give us the Father’s peace.

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