Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Shepherd....My Rest! Psalm 23:1-3

                            Psalm 23:1-3

" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.   2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;  He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul;  He guides me in the paths of righteous-ness for His name sake. " these even be achieved in today's world?   This is the question that I asked myself as I read these verses the other day during my devotional time.   Our days are filled with stress, frustration and over commitments!   We rush here and rush there with a thousand things on our minds.  We often collapse into bed....not able to calm our minds and relax our bodies enough to fall into a sleep that is deeply needed.   So as I thought about these verses and the shepherd David who wrote them....I came to an amazing understanding about our true Shepherd....God!  

Matthew Henry wrote:
"I shall be supplied with whatever I need; and, if I have not everything I desire,  I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me,  or I shall have it in due time."

What does "...I shall not want."  mean?    In my younger years,  I struggled with materialism.   If I went into a woman's home and it was nicer than mine...I would come back home frustrated and discontent with my own home.   This could last for days and it would bring about such disharmony within my home and family.    Each time the Lord showed me this "sin" in my life....I 
eventually was able to seek forgiveness and restoration.    I can still go there at times....but at least now I recognize it quickly and turn away from that mind set.   I'm saying all this with the purpose of opening our eyes and hearts to the areas that are causing us to be discontent and emotional unstable.

Why would David write these words..."I shall not want"?   Some scholars say that this Psalm was probably written while he was King.   I'm thinking that as a King, David would have just about everything he those words could  reflect more of the spiritual need and wants then that of material.  

My next question was "How do I get to that way of thinking?"    Well,  as I continued to read the next couple of popped out at me!!    David is saying that when the Lord is truly our Shepherd (our protector, provider and sustainer )  we will not want....because we are at peace, rest and we are contented!   Wow...that is huge ladies!    

There are so many woman today....young and old who are deeply discontented with their lives.   Discontented with being a stay at home mom...discontented with being a working mom....discontented with their home, car, clothes, church....I could go on and on!    We have become a nation of discontentment and I believe  it has a lot to do with our relationship ( or lack there of) with our Heavenly Shepherd !

Our understanding of "want" and God's understanding of "want" are completely opposite.   We don't only see what God's view of want is but more do we get there!

The next thing I read in this Psalm is that the reason we will not be "in want" is because our Shepherd helps us to find "rest".

Psalm 23:2  "He makes me to lie down in green pastures;  He leads me beside quiet waters."  

When the Lord is truly my Shepherd...then as I release all my stress, cares and concerns to Him,  I am ushered into a place of rest and contentment.   How do we release these things?   Lets look at this "rest" in a better light.  

Sheep do not lie down when eating....they lie down after they have been fed.....feeding in the lush green pastures would allow them to eat till full and satisfied.    Don't miss this!    We are told to feed on God's Word til full and is after this spiritual feeding that we can then "rest" in full peace and contentment.   These two,  feeding and resting, go hand in hand.   

David, I believe, drew a beautiful picture of what this rest looks like....

Just looking at this picture makes me feel calm and refreshed!

Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul;  He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name sake."

As we read verse 3... we find out that while resting in the Lord ( releasing our stress, frustrations and discontentment to Him and picking up His mind set through His Word and prayer)  our soul is restored!!   RESTORED....I love this word and I can testify that I do truly feel restored after spending time in God's Word and in prayer!

So...the final question I asked while reading these verses was...."Why does  our Shepherd do all this?

Psalm 23:3b  "...For His name's sake."

Our Shepherd does all these things for His name that His name will be gloried and praised!    As the world around us witnesses such rest, peace and contentment....their eyes will be lifted up to the heavens.   

Praise the Lord!

No comments:

Post a Comment