verse two: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.” this verse, primarily the first part, tells us that our Shepherd sustains us, by comely food and habitation.
It ought to be seen as a great act of mercy that our Lord would lie us down in, “Green pastures.” We, who are undoubtedly the least of his sheep, could have been shoved aside into a dark pen, bare and lifeless. But no, that is not the type of Shepherd that we the sheep follow. We follow a loving and kind master, who gives us green grass to eat: it is good to the taste, and pivotal to our health; we lie down in green pastures: which is a good and comfortable bed. A great feast has been laid before us: do not hold back, but go up, and eat to your souls content. There is a great rest lain out before us: come, all who are weary, and partake (see Matt. 11:28). It says he Maketh us to lie down in green pastures. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I see this as: our Shepherd intends the green an comely pastures for us; and brings us to them. We aren’t just mindless sheep who climbed on the catch the ride; the Shepherd has a rest intended for us, in the green pastures. He has a glorious plan for us, which unfolds more and more as we follow him.
The psalmist goes on to say that he “Leadeth us by the still waters”. Christ doesn’t just bring sheep into his fold; he leads us. It may seem that we walk blindly in a sense, perhaps. Yes, we are pilgrims, in a sense. We are wanderers to the world; we are followers to and of Christ. Christ is as qualified, and able, to be our leader as he is to be our saviour. We tend to want a Jesus who will save us and leave us alone. But were this the case, our lives would be just as, if not more, miserable than before, and salvation would lose much of its worth. And were we not led, our salvation would be useless. No, we cannot have salvation without sanctification, any more than we can have Christian joy without Christ in our lives. Also, we, like sheep, are prone to go astray; but the Shepherd will not suffer one of his sheep to be lost; No, he would rather leave the ninety-nine, and bring us back.
The psalmist refers to still waters. This would be part of our Shepherd’s provision for us, just as he gives us food to sustain us, so he gives us drink. Also, as Spurgeon says, “Waters of rest, such as sheep love to drink of, because void of danger, and yielding a refreshing air.”
Okay, so what is our response? Well, I would say we should strive to become more like our Shepherd; like the Sheep in Matthew 25. We ought to do as much to the least of our brethren. We should continually look to our Shepherd; he gives us all things mentioned in this Psalm. We ought to show faith in his promises, by continually coming to him for more.
Well, it’s horrifically late, and my mental faculties are so out of joint that I feel if I write any further I should find myself jotting down some horrifically erroneous things. (That’s a total of four words that I’ve always wanted to say. In one sentence). So I guess I ought to get to bed.
by the way: I guess some of you are scared that I’m going to continue this exposition for six more posts in secession, without any family news in between. Relax. My next post will probably be an update on what sort of things my family and I have been doin’ lately. Until then, happy late fathers day. I meant to write a post for fathers on Sunday, but we left the house at nine [A.M.] and returned at nine forty-five [P.M.] ouch.