Thursday, 19 April 2012

Re-examining Psalm 23's "green pastures" and "still waters"

I've been listening to and learning some amazing things from Ray Vander Laan and his Follow the Rabbi lectures (though Focus on the Family).

I remembered learning about the actual meaning of "green pastures" from the famous Psalm 23, and since that's the psalm we're memorizing now at my scripture memory blog, His Word in My Heart, I was reminded of it again and needed to share it with you.  In fact, I googled it and found this great video that explains it - and the video imagery makes the point even more than words ever could.

The green meadows were actually rocky hills, and with the very small amount of moisture available in the area, small tufts of grass grow by these small rocks, and the Shepherd leads His sheep to those tufts of grass, and every day the sheep eat them, and there is just enough for what they need for that day.

In other words - God gives us what we need for the day, or even for the moment, when we need it.  This verse is not promising us a happy-go-lucky life with no problems along the way.  No, it's promising us that God will provide what we need when we need it, and not before - if we follow Him!  The grass is sparse and we can't find it on our own.   But we can trust Him, because He was faithful yesterday and the day before that and He will continue to be faithful today and every day.

Anyway, here's the video.....

And the still waters?

In the deserts, wadis can quickly kill. In fact, in that part of the world, more people die in the desert from floods than from starvation or dehydration. When it rains in the hills, water rushes through the wadis, creating flash floods that can’t be seen or heard until it’s too late to escape.
Sheep without a shepherd go to the wadis to find fresh water and have no hope of escaping the floods. It’s the shepherd’s job to find “still water,” that is, water that doesn’t risk death.
Again, it's not referring to a beautiful placid river running through lush meadows that you lounge beside.  It's about God leading you to water that refreshes and does not lead to death.

For more about the Shepherd - click here.


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