Opportunity Is Disguised As Work
November 23, 2013
Law Rejects, Grace Accepts
November 25, 2013
Opportunity Is Disguised As Work
November 23, 2013
Law Rejects, Grace Accepts
November 25, 2013

Psalm 23 – Part 5

sheep following shepherd 2

Psalm 23, Part 5
a Psalm of David

1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod
and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shalldwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:1-6, ESV

There’s so much in each verse of Psalm 23 that we don’t want to miss anything, and today we’re finally looking at verse 2. We’ve seen the Shepherd’s love and provision for his sheep because they did not lack anything. Here the Psalmist shows the provision of God’s peace.

A frightened sheep will not lie down, anywhere. Instead they will run around frantically, unable to eat until the shepherd calms them with his voice and his touch. Once assured that all is safe, the sheep  can enjoy eating and then calmly rest or lie down in green pastures.

How often have you run around in a frantic state of mind because of something you heard on the news or something your doctor told you? Is your first response one of fear and panic or one of faith? The voice of Jesus, your Shepherd says don’t be afraid. “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep [guard] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) His Peace is able to keep your heart at rest and your mind at ease, peaceful. No worries. Jesus is your  Peace.

The more you feed on God’s Word, the more peaceful you are and the more rest you experience as a child of God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [focused] on Thee: because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)  “And let the peace of God rule in your heart…” (Colossians 3:15)  You can allow the chaos and fear around you to rule your heart or you can let God’s peace take over and calm you as you rest in His peace. Keep your focus on Him and then lying down in green pastures is easy because you’re at rest in God’s unfailing, never-ending peace; and you’re confident that wherever He leads you will be safe.

A sheep will not even drink at a stream of rapidly moving water. Any movement makes them uneasy. But notice in verse 2 that the Psalmist says God leads him beside still waters. There’s an interesting meaning in the Hebrew word “still”. The word is ‘menuchah’ and is found some 21 times in the Bible and translated as “rest”. So applying the Hebrew meaning to what the Psalmist tells us we learn that the still waters are “waters of rest”.

I encourage you today to walk in God’s Peace—the waters of His rest. You’ll find nourishment, satisfaction, enjoyment, and peace in the pastures of His Word, refreshed by the waters of His rest.