Daily Devotions

Psalm 23:2-3 "Green Pastures and Still Waters"

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"He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul."

I've always thought of these two verses spoke of God bringing peace and tranquility. I was almost sad when I learned that the passage's primary intent is to acknowledge that God is the one who keeps the psalmist alive. There is no time for peace in a green pasture, or tranquility beside still waters. The psalmist is in the "valley of the shadow of death" for goodness sake.

The "green pastures" is where food is found. The "still waters" is the place where drinking water is easy to gather. "Pastures" and "water" is what keeps us alive. No caviar and champagne to restore my soul, no, just bread and water. God isn't promising extravagance, at least not in psalm 23. God is promising enough to keep us alive. For almost every American, this seems like a pretty cheap gift, but for people in the third world, the promise of enough food and water to keep yourself and family alive would be an amazing gift.

Today, think about all the food and water God has provided. Then, think about all the extras God has blessed you with. You and I are over-blessed. I never had to choose between electricity or food. I never had to listen to my daughter cry because she was put to bed hungry. God uses our tithe to help fulfill the 23rd psalm for others. Think about what you have, thank God for your blessings, then think about how you can give more, so others can eat and drink tonight.

 

Psalm 23 "I Shall Not Want"

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"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

In the ancient world, Kings were described as the "shepherds of the people." To say, "The Lord is my shepherd," is to declare one's loyalty to God, with a willingness to live under God's reign. While the people were responsible to honor the King's reign, the King was also had responsibilities. The King is responsible to provide and protect the people under the king's care. While human kings often failed in this endeavor, God's Kingship is always one of faithfulness.

You shall not want. Sometimes it feels like we are left wanting. Yet, God is providing for our needs, like a shepherd cares for the sheep. While we do not get everything we want, we do will get everything we need. What we need is life. Our Good Shepherd gives us life, on earth and in heaven. Life on earth is more blessed and loving because of God's care for us. Our Good Shepherd also gives us life eternal. No other king is cares or has the power to give us life eternal. Contemplate life today. You are not alone, because you are being shepherded, now and always.

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