June 28, 2017 • By Ed Wrather
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures – Psalm 23:1-2a NKJV.
I (Jesus) am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. – John 10:11 NKJV.
The use of the word “green” in the Bible with few exceptions is usually in the context of something good. While I was growing up on a farm we never had a drought and our pasture never turned brown. The grass was green, the plants were green, and the trees were green. Sadly, a few years ago western Oklahoma went through a sustained several year drought and ponds dried up, lake levels dropped, and pastures could no longer sustain the herds of livestock that they had before. Bales of hay became costly, and scarce, and livestock had to be sold. The pastures were no longer green; they had turned a brownish color no longer containing the life giving nutrients that they had before the drought.
“Green pastures” are a precious blessing for livestock and in King David’s time the people knew well the difference a green pasture made. The difference between a green pasture and a brown pasture was the difference between life and death. Sheep and we people sheep are often unable to distinguish between a good pasture and bad pasture. Shepherds would lead their sheep through bad pastures until they reached the best pasture where they could graze from the nutrient filled green grass.
Our “Good Shepherd” like a good shepherd of sheep knows where the “green pastures” are located. To arrive at the “green pastures” in our lives we must closely follow and listen for the voice of our “Good Shepherd.” Jesus says, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers (John 10:4-5).”
If we want to “lie down in green pastures” with our lives we must acknowledge that the “Good Shepherd” knows more than we do. The “Good Shepherd” can see the future; He knows that at times it may become necessary to move from one green pasture to another. We must listen closely to His voice so we won’t be left behind. In order, for us to hear clearly the voice of the “Good Shepherd” we must surrender our plans, dreams, and desires and rely instead upon His plan for our lives knowing it is the best.
Are you following the “Good Shepherd?” Are you living in “green pastures?”