Greet Pastures and Overflowing Cups

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 23

He makes me lie down in green pastures. (v. 2)

My family raised sheep on our little Wisconsin farm. Acres and acres of grassy fields fattening the sheep made for thick coats in winter and abundant sheering in spring. They lacked for nothing in the rich farmland we called home. That’s the picture I see when I read David’s song in Psalm 23.

That is not, however, what David saw. Have you seen the pastures of Israel? Not exactly waist-high grasslands stretching on for miles. Think instead of small patches of grass on the shadier side of knolls. There often was just enough grass for one meal. Good shepherds needed to know where the next meal would come from and sheep needed to trust the shepherd’s leading.

There will be a time when the cup will run over and the feast will be spread (v. 5), but most days we settle for covering our basic needs, not unlike the Israelites in the desert trusting the Lord for manna each morning. Maybe that’s why the Lord’s Prayer requests, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God’s grace is sufficient for each day even as he promises an eternal feast. For now, we need only to trust the Lord who is our Shepherd. Jesus tells us he is that Good Shepherd who knows his sheep (John 10:14). No matter our circumstances, we can trust the Lord, the great Shepherd of the sheep. He knows what we need for today and he will lead us home. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask the Good Shepherd to help you trust in his daily provision.