How can we ‘LIE DOWN’ in GOD’s GREEN PASTURES? "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalms 23:1-3)
Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved passages of the Bible – the crowing jewel among the Psalms. However, Psalm 23 is not for everyone but is only applicable to those who can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” It is true that the Good Shepherd died for all, but only those who actually receive Him by a definite act of faith are His sheep. Even though the saving work of Jesus is sufficient for all, but it is effective only for those who actually believe on Him in faith!
The word pictures David uses for God come from his own life and experience as he had been a shepherd in his youth (1 Sam. 16:19). Under a metaphor borrowed from scenes of pastoral life, with which David was familiar, he describes God's providential care in providing refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance. God is our provider in life as our shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture (Psalms 100:3b). The sheep of the Lord’s pasture is free from want. Those who abide in the presence of the shepherd never lack for temporal things (Psalms 50:10; 84:11; Phil 4:19).
The shepherd stays with the flock (Is. 40:11; 63:9–12). His sheep are totally dependent upon him for food, water, and protection from wild animals. Green pastures ("pastures of tender grass") are mentioned, not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest where there is both delight and plenty of provisions.
So, what more could we want? We will not lack food for our soul or body because He makes us to lie down in green pastures. We shall not lack refreshment either because He leads us beside the still waters. We shall not lack vitality because He restores our soul. We shall not lack moral direction because He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
How can we lie down in God’s “green pastures” and refresh beside the “still waters”? This is by spending time alone with God through Bible reading, meditation and reflection when God satisfies us with His word. “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalms 119:103). The green pastures and still waters are signs of contentment. The sheep only lie down after they have eaten. They do not lie down if they are nervous or frightened, but only if they feel secure. Let us be content in Him alone!