He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture.
IT IS STRANGE, YET TRUE, THAT ALL THE GREEN pastures of the Holy Word belong to us today as surely as they belonged to the people to whom the psalmist sang so long ago.
We are told in the Word: "Be not afraid . . . : for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree bears her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength." (Joel 2:22)
And in Job 39:8 we find that "the range of the mountains is His pasture," and "that He searches after every green thing."
How great are the "infallible proofs" of God's care over His children, His watchfulness over their welfare! What abundant pasturage is ours, and what gracious provisions are made by the great Shepherd for us, His sheep! He goes leisurely before us, bidding us feed on the lush greenness, bidding us lie down in its soft coolness when we are tired; and when we are thirsty, He leads us to the brink of clear and shining waters, where we can quench our thirst.
En Gedi Waterfall in Israel
It must take great patience to be the good Shepherd of, too often, wayward and wandering sheep. If the range of mountains is His pasture, this explains clearly how, and why, the one little bewildered lamb among the great number of others could have been lost in the rugged foothills, or even higher up on the mountainside.
It is easy to imagine the concern of the conscientious shepherd when he had safely sheltered the other sheep for the night and had found one missing. Despite earnest persuasion he went out again into the night of rain and wild wind to seek that lost one. He could not, nor would he rest, until he had found it. He came upon it at last; one can see him stooping and gently gathering the shivering creature in his arms, wrapping his cloak closely about it as he carried it back to the sheltering fold. He had ninety and nine safely housed, but the lost one was very precious in his sight, and no effort was too great in order to save it.
How like our Lord today!
Each lost, straying one of us is a weight upon His heart. When He does not go personally, He bids us go find that lost one. We see the missionaries of the world spending their last ounce of strength in search of lost souls. They work among the sick and dying; they minister to the lepers in far colonies; they feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Are they not true shepherds in Messiah's kingdom? Do they not spend themselves as He spent Himself that night of raging storms? In the Word of God we come upon this statement concerning sheep and their shepherds:
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture, says the Lord. . . . I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries, and will bring them again to their folds. . . . And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking."
Surely the earnest missionaries in all countries are the shepherds God sets up to bring the idol worshipers and the heathen-taught victims back to Him and His fold. The Lord's anger is kindled against false teachers who scatter His flock and bewilder them on the way with false doctrines and vain hopes. Beautiful, indeed, are the pastures of the earth! The cleanest winds blow across them; there is an inherent lift of the waving grasses; there is ever a silvery light glinting across vast spaces. And there is the promise of God back of them all for His children forever.
One picture will remain in men's hearts as long as time shall last: that of a young man shepherding his father's sheep in one of the green pastures of long ago. There will be music sounding lifelong in their ears-unforgettable, soul-satisfying music.
As the sheep graze, the lad lifts the harp he is carrying, plucking on its golden strings music as clear as spring water, and as soft as impinging wings. He works for a time on his composition. Then suddenly he lift's his beautiful voice to sing the fitted words, words that have come down through the ages, borne on the winds of time, to hearts that have need of their sustaining beauty and meaning:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You have prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." -- Psalm 23
Gracious Father, we are grateful that we have proof of Your abiding care that is ever over us. We thank You for the green pastures of the world and our life, and for Your able Shepherding. May we ever follow closely in Your footsteps lest we go astray. In Yeshua's (Jesus') holy name we pray. Amen.
O Gracious, Mighty Shepherd
Upon the far-flung meadowlands of earth You are the Shepherd, Lord.
Your clear eyes keep close watch above the little helpless ewes,
And over the often prone-to-wander sheep.
The emerald pasture compasses all lands;
Each nation is included in its reach;
All tribes and races roam that earth-wide field.
And You are Shepherd, blessed Lord, to each.
We are one world with one Shepherd and one flock;
We need not fear when You are by our side.
Make still the troubled waters of our day,
Smooth out the roughened landscape, and be our Great Guide.
May Your goodness and Your mercy never cease
To lead us in the blessed ways of Peace.
May the mountains yield prosperity
and may the hills be fruitful, because the King (Messiah) does what is right!
Psalms 72:3 -- AGI
Yet another Meditation of delight to chew on from the late Grace Noll Crowell, and made Messianic of course for our readers. We pray you'll enjoyed this one as much as I did.
God in His mercy has given me (Barbara Di Gilio) many poems about our great Shepherd, and I am grateful for all of them. However, none are as lovely as young David's Tehillim (Psalms). Psalm 23 is outstanding! Just six verses in all but what peace it reveals to our hearts when meditating on it. One day we will HEAR just how David sang that song to the Lord. I for one can't wait to hear how it sounds...! Often I have listened in the spirit to my own heart singing songs to my Shepherd in the night season, as I lay on my bed. And I must tell you, each time I do this I weep with great joy because my heart is filled with such love for the great care my Shepherd gives to me.
To think about what it must have been like to live in that time period, truly enlarges my mind. I am not sure what it will be like when our Lord returns and sets up His kingdom on the new earth, but I sure do pray it is a much "simpler time" for all people.
Today we all need to find a place where there is "still waters," where our soul can find real rest. With all the 24 hours News programs on TV we are hit with, it seems the only way to find that "real place of stillness" is to get out of town and run to the hills. If you can't find God in nature, I say you are not looking for Him. He is everywhere I look. He is in the bird kingdom, in the tree kingdom, and in the kingdom of humanity. And no, I'm not into pantheism, but I can see God "everywhere I look in nature" because He created it all, just read Roman chapter 1. And so I find it a blessing to "be still" (Psalms 46:10) whenever I can.
A Secret Place of Still Waters
Did you know you can create a "Secret Place" in your home for the Lord? All you must do is "desire" for it to be, then listen to what He tells you to do to make it happen. My secret place is in my bedroom. There I have a comfortable chair, small table, a few of books, a pad and a few of my bibles. Each day I get up early (around 4;30 to 5:30am), make a cup of coffee, and then go back into my bedroom to make my bed and sit and spend time with the Lord. Of course I am alone when I do this. Due to my husbands sleeping problems of many years, we now each have our own room in this home. And I have found that every morning no matter how long I'm there with the Lord, He provides me that "still water" I can drink from for the day. You may not have a room all to yourself, then look for a space where you may go and spend time with the Lord. I knew one lady who uses her large walk-in closet as her place of "still water", it was her prayer room. The first time I went to her home, your roommate told me she was in the closet, I thought she was joking, but she wasn't. I even know one man who uses his garage where he goes each morning to be with the Lord, away from his family to spend quality time with God.
So If you DESIRE this too, then the Lord God will show you where to set up your place of "still waters." I pray that you will let me know where your place of "still waters" is in your home or apartment. Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org we may share that with others who are looking for ideas.
Shalom, Barbara <><