Psalm 23



1  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3  He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

ESV Psalm 23:1-4

This is a widely recognized Psalm that offers us peace and reminds us that God is guiding us along His path, and he has things in control.

But what did God mean by green pastures and still waters?

Green pastures

In Jerusalem, the hillsides are mainly dirt and sand. But there are rainy seasons and dry seasons, just like in our lives.

In Israel, the west wind blows it's humidity against the hillside where it condenses the cool rocks at night, along with the 23 inches of rain Jerusalem gets each year, it's enough to grow little sprigs of grass.

There are dirt paths in the hillside where shepherds let their sheep graze on the little springs

It's not a lush green cattle pasture where everything is in abundance, but it's just enough.

God leads us along the right paths through the little springs giving us just enough for the day.

Some day he'll bless us with a lot of sprigs, and other days maybe only a little. But always enough for what we need.

He doesn't "make" you lie down, but He offers His peace and contentment every day to those who seek it.

Still waters

It's hard for modern people to take life slow.

We focus on staying busy, working hard, sacrificing relationship and health at times in hopes to be rich, and God offers us a chance to slow all that down.

Still waters is a shallow, quiet trickle of water gently flowing along, maybe a small creek in the park.

A shepherd will never lead his sheep to a rapid flowing river. God doesn't want this for us too.

He longs to give us peace, rest, and takes us to where water is pure, and almost motionless so we refresh ourselves in Him.

It's a place where we slow down, and be quiet and still in our hearts.

His invitation to drink of His peace is found in Isaiah 55:1 which says, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.” He reminds us again in Revelation 7:17: “For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of water.”

we must actively seek God every day so he leads us to a continual place of rest, and prepare us for His kingdom's work.