"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.".
There are many, many verses in the bible that give a feeling of comfort and peace but this one seems to bless us beyond that by showing a picture of heaven, yet this is on earth. We know that because later in the psalm, it talks about enemies near us. That cannot be in heaven. There are no enemies there.
An immediate picture of the country comes to mind. You are walking in a field of grass with trees on a cool, breezy summer day. The light wind is just enough, not too much. The grass is so green and soft, you could lie down and take a nap or run your feet through it. It is so quiet that you hear the birds singing and the crickets chirping. There are no sounds of the city, no traffic at all. Slowly, you sit under a tree, lean back and just enjoy the day. The breeze blows quietly through the leaves of the tree, making the smallest rustle. With reverence, you whisper because you do not want to disturb the solitude. This is truly a place of God, His workmanship. And just how do you know that? Because there is Peace. Do you feel that peace when you think of this place?
He leads me beside the still waters. Think about that creek or small river running through the meadow, quietly moving along. You sit next to it, putting your hand into the water. Its so cool and refreshing that you just have to dip some out to taste it. With your hand still wet, water dripping everywhere, you bathe your forehead. The coolness of it is felt immediately and you are refreshed again. Does this whole scene sound glorious, peaceful, beautiful?
In the new covenant, we are told we have a well of water springing up inside of us (John 4:14) and that there is also a river of living water coming out of our bellies (John 4:37-38). The Lord uses water to show us the Holy Ghost as you will see when you read the next verse: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)" The still waters are a type of the Holy Ghost in this verse. In John 14:27, Jesus tells us that He is giving us His Peace, not the worlds peace. That peace is temporal, corruptible, not stable. But the Peace of God passes ALL understanding, keeping our hearts AND minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6) One more thing here. Let us translate those Greek words. The word "Christ" is a Greek word that means "The Anointed One and His Anointing" so we read it that way. "The Anointed One" Jesus makes a lot more sense when you read it in English.
So what are we saying then? God will put us in a place of Peace, HIS Peace, even in a time of trouble. The first verse declares that the Lord is my Shepherd. That means that He is the leader, Master. We are to follow His lead because He knows where we are going and we do not. He promises, through this verse, to lead us into a quiet, restful place, even in the midst of trouble.
Ps. 32:7 declares "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah." SSo if your hiding place is not a meadow or a grassy place, then wherever you go for the peace, please think on that now. Also, please remember that God has not written this psalm for death. There is NO death in these verses. The world has grabbed hold of the words "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." to mark death in the verse. That could not be farther from the truth. We will discuss this later in the study on that verse, but one thing you need to notice and meditate on as you read this whole psalm. It says that you are walking THROUGH the valley of the SHADOW of death. It isn't death, its a shadow. Not stop and visit, walk THROUGH it. You are passing it by. This psalm is for the peace of God to be planted deep into your spirit, showing you that the stress of this world is NOT your heritage in the Lord, not your inheritance.
If you have not made Jesus Christ (remember to translate..the Anointed One and His Anointing) the Lord of your life, now is a good time. This age is fast coming to a close. Jesus is soon to return. When He does, it will be too late. Please take this opportunity to talk to the Lord Jesus right now and tell Him that you want to be a part of His family. After that, go read your bible each day and see what God has to give to you. A good place to start is in the new testament, the book of John. Pray to God for understanding, and find a good church home.
Click Here for verse 1 of the study on Psalm 23.
Click Here for verse 3 of the study on Psalm 23.