The Good Shepherd’s Care for Good Food and Rest
David likens our need for food and rest to the need of sheep for green pastures and still waters.
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.
David likens our need for food and rest to the need of sheep for green pastures and still waters. The green pastures are the place of rest and feeding for the sheep. The sheep are not picky eaters; they would try to find anything to eat in any pasture. However, a good shepherd knows that in order to keep the sheep healthy, the green pastures are the best pastures for his sheep. This is a reminder that we should not just be craving any spiritual food. Instead, we should allow the Lord to teach us and feed us through the wholesome word of God that can nourish and strengthen us.
Phillip Keller the author of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, was a sheep owner and sheep rancher. In his book, he states that sheep cannot truly rest unless the following four conditions are met: they are fed, they feel safe, they are free from friction with other sheep, and they have no parasites tormenting them. Even though the shepherd provides the green pastures, if the sheep don’t have the other conditions met, they still cannot enjoy their food or rest.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Jesus promises to feed our hunger and to quench our true thirst. The Lord knows what we really need to be satisfied and to feel content in life. The world and its messages continue to bring cravings in people’s hearts. The craving can be for popularity, prestige, money, significance, etc. Cravings create discontentment and a hunger for more. Are there things that you have craving for? Where do you go to meet those cravings?
The noises in the world are similar to sheep having parasites. A sheep cannot rest and can be very agitated to the point of hurting itself when the parasites enter into its ears or nose. Similarly, the noises of the world try to agitate us and steal our peace. Some of the noises out there tries to frighten us with the news of the day. Some of the other noise is what we see or hear people are doing that cause us to measure our lives against them. What has entered your mind that is causing agitation and stealing your rest?
The shepherd’s presence gives us a place of rest and calm from all the noise, pressure, and expectations. We get to enjoy the green pastures that the Lord has provided for us. In this atmosphere, we can be free from the fear of our surroundings and allow our soul (mind, emotion, and will) to be refreshed and to come to rest in God.
How are you doing these days? Have you been anxious and discontent? Are you able to put aside distractions that cause discontentment and agitation in your life? Can you unplug from all the technology for a period of time and allow yourself to be refreshed in His presence!?