Summary: Allowing the Shepherd to lead me and comfort me.
VII. HE MAKETH ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES
A. Green Pastures
1. ---or “pastures of tender,” are mentioned not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest JFB
2. Great for sheep in grazing. Blessed to lie down on.
B. What are our two greatest physical needs? (Elmer Towns)
1. Food, i.e., green pastures.
2. Drink, i.e., still waters.
C. How can the Shepherd meet our needs? Relationship. Elmer Towns
D. God makes his saints to lie down; he gives them quiet and contentment in their own minds, what ever their lot is; their souls dwell at ease in him, and that makes every pasture green. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances? Let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us lie down in them, abide in them; this is my rest for ever. Matthew Henry
E. The Lord does not choose what grass for us to eat. He does not pick it for us. He leads us to the green pastures (Scriptures), but we must:
1. Listen 2. Read 3. Study 4. Memorize 5. Meditate. Elmer Towns
F. The Shepherd chooses the pasture for us. We choose when, how much, and
what to eat.
G. The word “maketh” means, “to cause me to lie down.” The emphasis is on “me.” What does this picture? (Elmer Towns)
1. 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. She introduces the stimulus of rocking.
2. God creates appetite. After a long walk, the hungry sheep want to lie down.
3. God creates desire. When Israel would not obey, God created situations to make them willing to obey.
H. This beautifully presents to us the precious truth that God's dear people are made to rest and enjoy His rich provision, His supply, and His goodness. God's sheep receive of God's best. A Dictionary of Bible Types
VIII. HE LEADETH ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS.
A. Why Must The Shepherd Lead Me? (Elmer Towns)
1. Sheep have no sense of direction.
“All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isa. 53:6).
2. Sheep don’t know where to go.
“We have turned everyone to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).
3. There are necessary places sheep don’t want to go.
“When he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them” (John 10:4).
4. Sheep are not sure-footed.
5. The shepherd wants to encounter our dangers first.
6. The shepherd knows where to go, (direction). How to get there (method),
why we are going, (purpose) and when to move (timing).
B. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose has to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. Easton’s Bible Dictionary
C. Sheep are frightened of swiftly moving water. They’re poor swimmers, & get bogged down with their heavy wool just as we would if we tried to swim wearing wool overcoats. So when the shepherd comes to a moving stream, he doesn’t try to force the sheep to drink. Instead, a good shepherd builds a dam & makes a quiet little pool where his sheep can drink from still waters.
(Melvin Newland @sermoncentral)
D. He leadeth me beside the still waters Margin, “waters of quietness.” Not stagnant waters, but waters not tempestuous and stormy; waters so calm, gentle, and still, as to suggest the idea of repose, and such as prompt to repose. As applied to the people of God, this denotes the calmness — the peace — the repose of the soul, when salvation flows as in a gently running stream; when there is no apprehension of want; when the heart is at; peace with God. Barnes’ Notes
E. The still waters
F. “Still” suggests a place to rest and relax. Elmer Towns
G. The still water speaks of refreshment. Robert McKenzie
1. Not a raging river.
2. And not a stagnant pool.
3. "Still waters run deep"
H. What does “water” do for us?
1. Keeps us alive. “A well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
2. Refreshes. “As the deer thirsteth after a stream of water, so panteth my soul
for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1, ELT).
3. Enjoyment. “Oh that one would give me a drink of water of the well
of Bethlehem” (II Sam. 23:15).
4. Cleansing. “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps.51:7).
IX. HE RESTORETH MY SOUL
A. He restoreth my soul literally, “He causes my life to return.” DeWette, “He quickens me,” or causes me to live. The word soul” here means life, or spirit, and not the soul in the strict sense in which the term is now used. It refers to the spirit when exhausted, weary, or sad; and the meaning is, that God quickens or vivifies the spirit when thus exhausted. The reference is not to the soul as wandering or backsliding from God, but to the life or spirit as exhausted, wearied, troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil. the heart, thus exhausted, He re-animates.