The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. (Psalm 23: 1-2) David understood something about God that transformed his life. God wants us to live in peace. When David said the Lord was his shepherd, he described a life of protection. Sheep don’t worry about wolves if the shepherd is near. David so trusted that God would protect his life that it allowed him to face a giant and win.
But there is another deeper truth in these two verses. God makes me lie down in green pastures. We need rest. We need peace. Our souls are designed to recharge in rest. He leads me beside still waters. The Hebrew for this is “waters of rest”. (Strong’s H4496, H4325) How amazing is that! If we allow Him, God will lead us to waters of rest. The sabbath was made to be a day of rest because we need it. Life can be overwhelming and if we are not careful of our rest, we suffer the affects of stress, which is physically and emotionally damaging.
When we rest in peace, God restores our soul. We don’t have to wait to be dead to rest in peace! We are meant to enjoy that now. God knows how stressful life is. He promises to restore our peace if we let Him. Human nature is to be fearful so we’re told over three hundred times in the Bible to fear not. It’s a choice to trust that God will take care of us. Seek first the kingdom of God and He will take care of us. It’s His promise. It’s only then that He can restore our soul and help us live in rest.
Rest is yours for the having. Enjoy it everyday. Your soul will thank you.
There is something despicable about constant noise and entertainment. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with advertisements, music, video, links to social sites. None of that is bad of itself, but the nonstop barrage is an assault on our peace. It chips away at what cushions and protects our spirits. We have to fight for times of quiet.
I think the enemy works very hard to keep us from being quiet. It is in the quiet time that we are still and know our God. It is when we hear Him speaking to our spirits and settling our souls. Any way to keep us from finding stillness is a victory for the wrong side.
Music, videos, activity can be good, but don’t allow all of it to consume your time and eat away at the peace of sitting with God. Guard that time. Protect it. Block it out as if it were an appointment, because it is. You need to still before your God and hear Him in the quiet place. You won’t hear Him like that any other way, which means that you would miss something significant.
The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (Is 32:17)
In Psalms 132, God promises to keep the sons of David on his throne forever if they keep God’s covenant. (v 12) That is a remarkable promise to make to a man. This is a man we need to view as a role model. Why was David so valued by God? Look in Psalm 131.
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lifted up. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. (Ps 131:1) For all that David did to save his nation, he never let it go to his head. To me, this sounds like an older, mature David comfortable with humility. He knows that it was always God’s strength that did the real work. There was no way he would take credit for what God did.
David also had an ability to rest. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother. (131:2) He was intentional in calming his soul. He chose to be quiet because it is in that state that we commune with God the best.
The attributes of David that I will take away are his humility and peace. It made him a truly great man in God’s eyes. Enough to establish his throne forever.