“He makes me lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:2).
Have you ever wondered why the LORD who is the good shepherd makes his sheep lie down? That doesn’t sound very loving…making, forcing, coercing sheep to do something.
When God was handing out abilities while creating the animals in the animal kingdom, sheep got the short straw.
- Eagles got the ability to fly and incredible eyesight
- Rabbits received amazing hearing
- Dogs have a keen sense of smell
- Lions and Tigers received fangs
- Bears received massive strength and claws
- Rams received horns
- Deer received amazing agility and speed
- Sheep? They bleat
Sheep are slow. They have terrible hearing, poor eyesight, and a terrible sense of smell. They have neither brute strength, horns, claws, nor fangs. Sheep are as defenseless and hapless as an animal can get.
This makes sheep incredibly nervous animals. They are on edge all the time. They have to be if they are going to make an escape. By the time predators are upon them, it’s almost too late.
Because they are nervous animals, sheep will never lay down unless they feel totally secure. Sheep will die from anxiety than rest. Only when they are secure in the watch of a good shepherd will they lay down.
And even then, there are times when sheep are sheep. In such times, the shepherd makes the sheep lie down because without proper rest, sheep will die.
Friends, the LORD is your shepherd. No matter what you are facing today, you can rest in your shepherd because your shepherd is good, kind, and loving. He is your shield and rampart. He is your protector and guide. Your security isn’t in you. You are incapable of providing peace. Your security and peace is given to you by your shepherd.
So, bleat away. Just rest assured that your shepherd’s got your back.