Posted by: theNuetzels | June 19, 2008

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

Psalm 23:2

Wanted to share what I just read from Max Lucado’s “Traveling Light” in regards to the verse above:

“Green pastures were not the natural terrain of Judea. The hills around Bethlehem where David kept his flock were not lush and green. Even today they are white and parched. Any green pasture in Judea is the work of some shepherd. He has cleared the rough, rocky land. Stumps have been torn out, and brush has been burned. Irrigation. Cultivation. Such are the work of a shepherd.

Hence, when David says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures,” he is saying, “My shepherd makes me lie down in his finished work.” With his own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. He tore out the thorny underbrush of condemnation. He pried loose the huge boulders of sin. In their place he planted seeds of grace and dug ponds of mercy. 

And he invited us to rest there. Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of the shepherd when, with work completed, he sees his sheep rest in the tender grass? Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of God when we do the same? His pasture is his gift to us. This is not a pasture that you have made. Nor is it a pasture that you deserve. It is a gift of God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

This got me thinking about resting in God and his grace and having a Sabbath…

Honoring the Sabbath is something I feel like I have never fully understood and have always struggled with. In school I always did my homework on Sunday nights, in college I worked on many Sundays and never had a day of rest. When I wasn’t at class I was at work and visa versa. I realize the Sabbath doesn’t have to be on Sunday but most Christians would assume that is their Sabbath because they go to church and worship God on that day. Do I actually have a Sabbath? What is the Sabbath supposed to be and look like?

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, not your maidservant, not your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11

It’s been pointed out that God used the most space in communicating this Commandment – why do you think that is? Because it’s so hard for us to follow and we’d probably be thinking that if we couldn’t do work then we’d get someone else to do it so that the day could still be productive. He’s pretty much addressing everyone not to work on the Sabbath. Why is this Commandment so hard for me to follow? It bothers me that it is spoken so plainly and yet I make it so complicated and unable to happen. My prayer is that I would start to honor the Sabbath. That I would set it apart from the other 6 days, whatever day of the week it ends up to be. That I would truly set apart one day a week and give it all to God, to worship Him, learn more about Him, pray to Him and let Him have a chance to really get a hold of me and transform me. That I would make a commitment to Him and nobody or nothing else for one day a week, each week. He hasn’t commanded this to harm me but to help me. I will just have to work extra hard on the six other days to make sure I can have a day to set aside for Him. Any ideas on what you do on the Sabbath to help you set it apart and keep it holy?



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