Bible Society of South Africa

Rejoice in the Lord’s abundant care every day! – 9 July 2021

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

2He lets me rest in fields of green grass

and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.

3He gives me new strength.

He guides me in the right paths,

as he has promised.

Psalms 23:2-3GNBOpen in Bible reader

David was anointed as the king of Israel in his father’s house. Then the Lord left him to keep on guarding the sheep for years! The purpose of this time was not to humiliate David but to teach him valuable skills for the time he would rule. The pastures would provide much time to think. David discovers some of life’s most important lessons and, in the Psalms, shares it with us, the believers of all time.

David had found rest in the Lord. In the Middle Eastern region where this took place, green pastures are extremely rare. It is more the expectation that the sheep would be taken from one desert bush to another in the scorching heat. A green pasture is a thing of beauty in this region, it symbolises provision and abundance. David uses this image to testify that God is good! He gives the good times in my life! He takes care of my deepest needs. The second image is just as beautiful. In the parched Middle Eastern landscape, where this song was born, fresh drinking water continues to be very scarce. Shepherds trek with their sheep for great distances to let them drink. A place where there is clean water, and peaceful surroundings, is seen as a small piece of heaven on earth in a desert. David uses these images to say: God knows my deepest needs – He cares for me and he gives me rest. He makes my life worth living. This experience of God’s provision and care makes him a grateful man.

In a hot, desert landscape where food and water are scarce, life is hard. It is draining to do your daily chores if you are hungry and thirsty. With this image, David testifies: the Lord refreshes my soul! He renews my strength. He enables me to keep on going. In the green pastures, and at the waters where peaceful rivers flow, there I meet the Lord. There he fills my soul with peace.

We don’t have all the answers in life. We don’t have all the resources to cope with every demand made on us. We get tired and weary. Sometimes we lose hope. When we feel like this, it is time to come to the Lord and be still. We need to drink deep from his fountains, and rest in his presence. But this does not happen by itself with our busy schedules. We need to find time to be still in the Lord. We need his touch, his refreshment of our souls, to live a life worth living.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your loving care in my life. Thank you for your goodness and mercy, providing for my every need. Thank you that you refresh my soul, that I find my strength in your presence in my life. You are my Shepherd, I lack nothing! Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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