He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
~ Ps. 23:2
Sometimes when we read the Bible, I think we miss a lot of information simply because we don't always understand the imagery used by the writers. The biblical writers wrote to, for, and about the people of their day. Thus they used imagery and terminology that would have been very familiar with their readers. The reality of this is that very often we miss the intensity of the written word because we do not understand the culture innuendo.
For example, Psalm 23:2 talks about the green pastures that the shepherd leads his sheep too. Now, when we read this verse, we craft and image base on our understand of what a green pasture looks like. We've all driven through the country side to see sprawling fields of green grass spotted by grazing sheep, cows, or other farm raised animals. Thus when we think of green pastures, we think of food as far as the stomach can take. And so what we might come away saying, Because God brings us to the fields, surely he will be out blessing beyond our wildest dreams. But that's just not the case.
I came across this video as I was preparing to teach on the 23rd Psalm. I was immediately forced to rethink my understanding of what a green pastur looks like and how God provides. Take a few minutes to watch this teaching video from RVL|ON, called Green Pastures.
David saw God as his provider. Like a shepherd who leads his sheep to places to graze, drink, and rest, David trusted God to provide for his daily need.
You see, I think we in the western church too often jump to the idea that God is a god of wealth and riches and all he wants to do is make us wealthy and rich. So when we read verses like this one we consure up the image of sheep bedding down and enjoying the pleasures of lush green pastures and rolling hills of abundance. But what if what David states is true, and instead of wealth untold, the true riches we find in God are not the lavish spoils of this world, but the rich mercy, grace and love that come only from God?
Today, I want to encourage you to consider the pastures that God is leading you to. Chance are, there probably not what you thought of when you set out to walk with God. I know in my own faith journey, there have been a number of pastures that I wish God would never have taken me too. But it's in these pastures that we see to Shepherd caring for His sheep. Never once did I ever have to go without. Never once did God ever turn his back towards me. Never once did He ever reject me, even when I did all three to Him.
Take the time to recognize and remember how God provided for you and how you learned to trust Him to lead and care for you. If you are walking through a difficult time right now, learn from David, and trust that God is still leading you and He will provide for you. It what the Shepherd does.
The video clip shown here is from the RVL|ON teaching series, and can be found on the RVL|ON Youtube.com. You can learn more about Ray Vander Laan and his ministry by click here.
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