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Green Pastures, Still Waters, and Gracious Restoration
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” (v. 2). — These green pastures are all found in the Word of God. Christ graciously, tenderly makes his sheep lie down in the green pastures of his Word, where we find rest, safety, satisfaction, and peace. There the grass is always tall, lush, and green, and never bare (Song of Solomon 1:7).
What are these green pastures of Holy Scripture? What is this sheep food with which the good Shepherd feeds his sheep? The psalmist was not inspired to tell us; but the Book of God does specifically mention some of those green pastures in which David found food for his soul. And God’s elect in every age feed upon those same green pastures.
Š The Covenant of Grace (2 Samuel 23:5)
Š The Person and Work of Christ (Psalm 22)
Š The Blessed Doctrine of the Gospel (Psalm 130)
Š The Sweet Promises of God (Psalm 103)
Š The Ordinances of the Gospel (Psalm 119)
Š Public Worship (Psalm 120-134)
Waters of Quietness
“He leadeth me beside the still waters” (v. 2) — What a gentle word, “leadeth!” Gently, thoughtfully, tenderly, Christ leads his sheep, like Jacob of old, to the soft, deep, quiet waters, as they are able to bear (Genesis 33:14). The Lord Jesus does not drive us with the whip of the law. He leads us by his Word, by his example, and by his Spirit beside the waters of quietness. To these waters of quietness, we would never come if our good Shepherd did not lead us, graciously, gently, but always effectually. The everlasting love of God is like a river, the streams whereof make glad the hearts of his people (Psalm 46:4). Christ himself is the pure river of the Water of Life from which all his sheep drink freely and constantly. Our Shepherd leads his sheep into the pleasant waters of spiritual communion with the eternal God. The Lord who is our Shepherd, leads all his sheep into the deep, still waters of Holy Scripture and causes them to wade through, drink from, and swim in the refreshing truths of the gospel. All who thirst are invited to come to these waters (Isaiah 55:1). And in heaven’s eternal glory, Christ will still lead his sheep by the fountains of living water for their everlasting consolation and joy (Revelation 7:15-17).
“He restoreth my soul” (v. 3). — How often he has come to me, when I could not go to him, when my soul was downcast, fainting, and disconsolate! Day by day, Jehovah, my Shepherd, restoreth my soul. When I stray, he fetches me back to himself. When I seem to be dying within, he relieves me, refreshes me, comforts me, and revives me with fresh discoveries of his love, the blessed promises of the gospel, the sweet memory of his sacrifice, and the bolstering remembrance of his dominion.