One of the most famous passages in the Bible is Psalm 23. This passage is very popular and almost everyone knows the phrase “The Lord is my shepherd.” I want to start looking at this passage in its original desert context. Today we’ll explore the concept of “green pastures.”
When people generally hear the promise of “green pastures” in Psalm 23, they think of lush green pastures in Ireland or Scotland, or something similar. When you travel to Israel, you realize that a shepherd that lived in the desert wrote Psalm 23, and you get a very different picture of green pastures.
Notice the following, from followtherabbi.com:
“Many westerners imagine lush, green meadows when they hear the word “pasture,” but “green pastures” in Israel actually look like rocky, barren hillsides. Scattered amidst the rocks are blades of grass. Where a drop of rain fell or dew collected beneath a rock, a single tuft of grass can sprout up.
Even though they eat all of one day’s grass, the sheep do not worry about where tomorrow’s grass will come from. They trust the shepherd to find new pastures for them.
Psalm twenty-three’s image of God providing “green pastures” challenges believers to trust God day by day. The Good Shepherd doesn’t promise a life of luxury or long-term supplies, but he will always give the pasture needed for the moment.”
As one rabbi said, “Worry is dealing with tomorrow’s problems on today’s pasture. “
Please see the video below for an excellent clip from RVL illustrating the “green pastures” teaching: