Summary: You will have all the spiritual food you need when you have a proper relationship with the Shepherd.
Psalm 23 Series
Dr. Elmer L. Towns
Lesson 3 (23rd Psalm): Green Pastures and Still Waters
1. What are our two greatest needs?
a. Food, i.e., green pastures.
b. Drink, i.e., still waters.
2. How can the Shepherd meet our needs? Relationship.
B. LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES
1. Why do sheep lie down?
a. Natural. Standing people naturally want to lie down.
b. Tired. The Lord gives us rest in green pastures.
c. Sleep. We need rest to replenish our strength.
d. Hide. Sheep want to hide from danger.
e. Stop working. When we lie down, we stop working.
f. To be in His presence. Sometimes we want to be near the one we love.
2. Why does our Shepherd choose green pastures?
a. Chosen pastures. The original language suggests “choice pastures.”
(1) Why not the pastures of another? Best for our need.
(2) Why not the pastures of the past? Not help us today.
(3) Why not the pasture of next year? We are not ready.
(4) Why not lie in the desert? The Shepherd always gets us home.
b. His choice. The Shepherd knows us . . . knows the pastures . . . knows the future; so His choice is best.
3. The original words suggest “tender new green grass.” What vegetables are best tasting? Tender grass is best.
4. What does the Lord not do with the grass?
a. Does not choose what grass for us to eat.
b. Pick it for us. He leads us to the Scriptures, but we must, (1) listen, (2) read,
(3) study, (4) memorize, (5) meditate.
c. We must lie in it and eat it.
The Shepherd chooses the pasture for us.
We choose when, how much, and what to eat.
5. What does it mean because the word lie down is a continuous verb form?
a. Repeated. The Lord will feed us “this day our daily bread.”
b. Not just once. Every time the Lord gets us to a pasture of green grass, He gives us food.
c. Daily. We get food, protection, fellowship and strength every day.
C. WHY DOES THE SHEPHERD MAKE US LIE DOWN?
1. What does the word “maketh” not mean?
a. To face down.
b. To ride down
c. To pull down.
2. What does the Lord not use to make us lie down?
a. Sheep dog.
b. His club.
c. His strength.
3. The word “maketh” means, “to cause me to lie down.” The emphasis is on “me.” What does this picture?
a. God creates circumstances. The green grass looks so good the sheep want to lie down. Mother feeds and rocks the baby to get the baby to lie down and sleep.
b. God creates appetite. After a long walk, the hungry sheep want to lie down.
c. God creates desire. When Israel would not obey, God sent the hornets to make them willing to obey.
D. WHY DOES THE LORD LEAD BY STILL WATERS?
1. What does the word “lead” suggest?
a. Not drive the sheep. He knows the way.
b. Not force the sheep. He faces danger first.
c. Not point the way. We don’t obey well.
d. Not tells us when to find water. He takes us to water.
2. What does the word “by” suggest?
a. Not into the water.
b. Not within sight of water.
c. Not maketh us drink from still water. We all have a thirst “indicator” that lets us know when we are thirsty.
d. He leads beside still waters so we can drink when thirsty.
3. What does the word “still” suggest?
a. Able to drink without choking.
b. Not to a river or waterfall to feel its power.
c. Not to a lake to enjoy its beauty.
d. “Still” suggests a place to rest and relax.
4. What does “water” do for us?
a. Keeps us alive. “A well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
b. Refreshes. “As the deer thirsteth after a stream of water, so panteth my soul for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1, ELT).
c. Enjoyment. “Oh that one would give me a drink of water of the well of Bethlehem” (II Sam. 23:15).
d. Cleansing. “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps.51:7).
PRAYING THE 23rd PSALM
Because Thou art my Shepherd,
I commit my needs to Thee.
Provide green pasture for me to lie in,
Lead me beside still waters.
Restore my soul when I’m empty,
Lead me in right paths for Your name’s sake.
Be with me in danger when I walk,
Through the valley of the shadow of death.
Deliver me from evil,
And protect me with Your rod and staff.
Prepare a table to feed me,
So my enemies can see Your provision.