FOR SHEEP TO RELAX
Philip Keller says that in order for sheep to lie down, four things are required:
First, they must be free from all fear. Sheep are very easily frightened. A stray jackrabbit jumping out from behind a bush can stampede a whole flock. When one startled sheep runs in fright, all of the others will follow behind it in blind fear, not waiting to see what frightened them. But nothing quiets a flock like seeing their shepherd in the field with them.
And sheep will not lie down unless there is harmony in the flock. When there is this tension between rivals, the sheep can’t lie down and rest. They must always stand up and be ready to fight. But when the shepherd is around, they forget their rivalries and stop fighting.
And sheep will not lie down unless they are content. If flies or fleas are bothering them they will not lie down. The shepherd must provide them with relief.
And sheep will not lie down unless they are full. A hungry sheep is always on its feet, searching for another mouth of food, trying to satisfy its gnawing hunger. Shepherds had to search hard for green areas to feed their sheep. (2)
In Jesus Christ, we have a Good Shepherd who will do all these things and more! He calms our fears, comforts us and gives us peace that passes understanding. He feeds us with life-giving spiritual food -- the Word of God. He even gave His life for us.
Source: Philip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, From Rick Crandall’s Sermon: Part 2 – Living in the Overflow of the Lord
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