He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – That’s Rest!

Psalm 23_TitleHe maketh me to lie down in green pastures —- That’s Rest!

How awesome is our God, who not only has green pastures to lead me into, which shows his ability, but he leads me into them, which shows his goodness.  Not gnarly brown ground where I find no sustenance, but green pastures where my eyes and stomach can feast. Here He has sated my appetite, dispelled my anxieties, satisfied my nature, and caused me to “lie down” and be filled with His love.

The Eastern shepherd occupied quite a unique position towards his flock; and a friendship sprang up between him and the dumb creatures of his care to which there is no counterpart among ourselves. He can do almost as he wills with any of them, going freely in and out amongst them, without exciting the slightest symptom of alarm. Now, all this is true of the Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep.

1. He has a shepherd’s heart, beating with pure and generous love that counted not His life-blood too dear a price to pay down as our ransom. (John 3:16)

2. He has a shepherd’s eye, that takes in the whole flock, and misses not even the poor sheep wandering away on the mountains cold. (1 Peter 2:25)

3. He has a shepherd’s faithfulness, which will never fail nor forsake, nor leave us comfortless, nor flee when He seeth the wolf coming. He has a shepherd’s strength, so that He is well able to deliver us from the jaw of the lion or the paw of the bear. (John 10:11)

4. He has a shepherd’s tenderness; no lamb so tiny that He will not carry it, no saint so weak that He will not gently lead, no soul so faint that He will not give it rest. He pities as a father. He comforts as a mother. His gentleness makes great, he covers us with His feathers, soft, warm, and downy, and under His wings do we trust.  He is the Good Shepherd in the sense of real or genuine. He is the Shepherd from the very center of His being. Every instinct of His nature, every feeling of His heart, every thought of His brain, every touch of His hand are those of the true Shepherd, whose constant purpose is to guide and feed and save the flock, and for that purpose He counts no toil too severe, no suffering too intense, no sacrifice too costly. He has thoroughly identified Himself with the sheep, and whatever adds to their well-being He gladly does and bears.

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