December 07 2022
Today, Wednesday December 07
“In Green Pastures”
“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 prepare 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.
The other day we mentioned how Psalm 23 could be divided into three parts. The secret of a happy life (vv. 1-3), the secret of a happy death (vv. 4-5), and the secret of a happy future (v. 6). Today we want to talk about the secret of a happy life. A happy life is a blessed life. God wants us to be happy, despite what we might think because of the circumstances and pain in our life that has caused so much unhappiness.
The Book of Psalms begins with the word “blessed”. Jesus begin His first recorded message with the word “blessed” (Matthew 5:3-11). The word “blessed” basically means happy! God wants us to enjoy life and the world He created for us to live in! Years ago there was a radio program called, “Happiness is a Choice”.
My friend, when we make the choice to follow the Lord Jesus Christ as the Shepherd of our lives He will definitely lead us in the green pastures where we will find abundant satisfaction.
In Psalm 22, David compared the enemy to animals that are clever and strong (22:12-16, 21), but in this Psalm, he pictured God's people as lowly sheep. Why? So we would learn about the Shepherd and see how tenderly He cares for us. Several commentators have said that sheep are “stupid” or “dumb” animals. Sheep are defenseless animals that are prone to get lost, and they need almost constant care.
You can't drive sheep, as you do cattle; they must be led. The eastern shepherds know their sheep by name and can call them and they will come. Jesus spoke about this in John 10:1-28. “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (vv. 2-3). “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (v.9). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (vv. 27-28).
Especially in the days of Christ, the sheep were kept, not for food but for wool, milk, and reproduction. When Passover would come on the Jewish calendar thousands of Jews from all over the world would come to Jerusalem to observe and participate in it. Each family would need a sheep or lamb to sacrifice for the ceremony. They tell us that literally as many as 250,000 sheep would be sacrifice during this time.
The sheep were being basically raised to be sacrificed for the shepherd. But when Jesus came, He was the Shepherd who would be sacrifice for the sheep! Because He is the only One Who could pay our sin debt, He is the only Door into eternal life. Eternal life is not a future event but a present experience for anyone who will trust the Lord Jesus to be their Savior and Shepherd!
Yes, the secret to a happy life is to know the Shepherd’s voice and make the choice to follow Him into “green pastures”. Will you do this today?