THE SHEPHERD: Psalm 23:2… “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” (KJV). A few years ago, the Lord gave me a vision about a shepherd and his flock. In the vision, I saw a flock of sheep grazing in a pasture. Every once in a while, they seemed startled (aroused suddenly, alarmed about something, frightened, or struggling). They lifted up their heads, looked around, and then they looked towards me as if to check with me. When they saw me, they returned to grazing. I wondered about the vision. Then the Lord spoke and said, “The shepherd must always be visible to the sheep.”
Today, it seems that the flock only sees the shepherd on Sunday mornings and they never see him or her again for the rest of the week. In the text, we see the word “maketh.” This word, as used here, means “to make level, to equalize, to adjust, or to bring into balance.” This is one of the duties of the shepherd. Too many saints are not at rest today. Psalm 23 starts out with “The LORD is my shepherd” (v. 1, KJV). Song of Solomon 1:7-8 says, “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” There are four reasons why sheep will not lie down.
a) They will not lie down until they are free from fear… Sheep are timid and easily frightened. If one runs, ten others will run too. Psalm 34:4 reads, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (KJV). The word “fears” as used here refers to fright within a person. Most of people’s fears come from the cares of this life (Luke 8:14). We are seeing this today. There is so much uncertainty in the land. Uncertainty causes fear, alarm, trouble, and worry. What are you dreading today? The Lord does not want to see you startled. Look to the Shepherd. Proverbs 3:25… “Be not afraid of sudden fear.”
b) Sheep will not lie down until they are free from friction… Shepherds of large flocks ay that there is often tension, rivalry, and cruel competition in the flock. Some domineering older sheep will be bossy and will maintain its position by head butting (Ezekiel 34:20-22). The sheep are not able to lie down. They stand and contest the butting. When the Shepherd comes into view, they stop their butting. When the sheep keep their eyes on the shepherd, they do not find fault with one another, and rivalry stops. Look to Jesus, our true Shepherd.
c) Sheep will not lie down when there are a lot of flies and parasites around… These pests distract the sheep; they run through bushes, shaking their heads, looking for relief. The shepherd applies ointment to repel the bugs. Among human sheep, the anointing is necessary. An anointed word will almost always ward off oppressions; the modern phrase is “quit bugging me.” Look to the Shepherd for your anointing.
d) Sheep will not lie down unless they are free from hunger… Green pastures are feeding places. Sheep are always on the move for greener pastures. It seems today that green pastures are hard to find; people get lost when they search on their own (Luke 15). Many saints are eating the wrong food; in their own perverseness, they would rather feed on barren ground. They bypass the Shepherd and end up in deception, frustration, and eventually ruin. Look to the Shepherd when you are hungry and thirsty.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” It’s the shepherd’s duty to bring the sheep into balance. In Ezekiel 34, the whole chapter deals with the shepherd and the sheep. The Lord faults many shepherds; he also faults many sheep. Are you at rest? Are you in green pastures? What are you dreading?
Build up your faith life. Trust your Shepherd.
Pastor George Belobaba
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