God makes me lie down in green pastures.
I have never raised sheep before. My guess is that in our modern world, many of us have not spent a ton of time around sheep. During the period of the Old and New Testament, most people lived in a agricultural society. Therefore, the authors of the Bible used metaphors of sheep and pastures to relate to their particular communities. Let’s dig beneath the metaphor to explore what it teaches us about God.
God is leading us to green pastures.
A pasture is a place of safety and abundance. I imagine God leading his people to a lush, plentiful countryside. The opposite of a pasture would be a desolate place. A lonely place. A wasteland. That is not where God is leading his people.
The prophet Ezekiel reinforces this concept:
I will feed my people in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
Green pastures are a source of life for sheep. God uses this metaphor to explain how God leads his people to places of life and abundance. The pasture has a purpose. Something exciting and life-changing happens in the pasture. This is how the psalmist explains it:
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. God restores my soul.”
In the pasture we find restoration.
Where in your life are you craving green pastures? Are there places you feel scarcity, anxiety, or neglect? To restore something means to return it to its original condition. Many of us have spent time in desolate or lonely places. We’re a bit nicked up and are no longer in our original condition.
In the pasture, God begins the work of restoring you to your original condition. God is not describing a physical pasture. This is a spiritual pasture. It is an internal state of the heart where you feel at rest and at peace in God.
This is where God is leading.
Follow God to green pasture. God will lead to restoration.
God made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
On Sunday, we will study the second “I AM” statement of Jesus. A hint for you- it has something to do with sheep.
See you on Sunday!