We are still in Psalm 23, but now we have moved to verse two: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
We are just going to focus on part of the first clause of this verse, “He maketh me to lie down…”
When you think of lying down what comes to mind? Rest, peacefulness, rejuvenation, comfort, and the list goes on of the many things that come to mind when we think of lying down. Rest is a very important part of living. We all need rest. God has made the Sabbath for us to rest in Him; however, throughout the week we find that we need rest also. Sometimes while I am in the library studying I find myself resting on the very books that I was supposed to be studying! But in our text we find that the Psalmist, who sees himself as a sheep, speaks of God making him to lie down in green pastures.
Phillip Keller, a former shepherd of sheep in the Middle East and now a pastor, shares some interesting details about what it takes for sheep to lie down; he explains the fact that sheep will not lie down unless they feel safe from danger, are at peace with their fellow sheep, are free from pests, and are fed to the point of satisfaction (Keller 35).
The Psalmist is expressing that all of these requirements have been filled in his own life. He rejoices because it is God who has done it for him. Sometimes we make ourselves uneasy. We focus so much on what we do not have that we miss the abundance of blessing that we do have.
Thousands are living in war zones. Their families are dying before their eyes. Rest is a fantasy for these individuals.
Many are in sharp conflicts with individuals even in their very home. Parents and children are constantly clashing in some households.
There are many who are plagued by many pests. They are in the wrong atmosphere. Unclean atmospheres attract pests.
Around the world millions are not only hungry, but starving, and even worse – dying from hunger.
When we consider these factors how blessed are we? Can you see the fact that you are blessed? Yes everything may not be perfect in your life – the truth is that is the case with nearly everyone, if not everyone.
God gives a peace that passes all understanding. He loves us with an everlasting love. We can lie down. We can have rest in Jesus Christ. He made it possible for us to rest in God. Lie down and give God thanks for allowing you to be able to do so!
Keller, Phillip. A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970.