“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,” Psalm 23:2
“He makes me lie down”
In the original language, the concept is ‘He causes me to lie down and lean against Him.’ David, having been a shepherd himself, he knew and understood the concept of a shepherd who takes care of sheep with his heart; not just out of duty, taking care, not only of their basic needs, but tenderly caring for all their needs.
Sheep don’t down easily. They won’t lie down if they are afraid. Sheep are sensitive to one another and quickly pick up on fears or conflicts within the flock. These spread like contagion and cause the flock to huddle restlessly in a corner of their field. They also will not lie down if they are tormented by parasites and flies, that irritate their eyes and ears. And lastly, sheep will not lie down if they are hungry.
A shepherd with an understanding of His flock knows these things. He meets all these needs, ensuring that the conditions are right, so that the sheep will lie down. This verse is a beautiful picture of the Lord, our Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and sees when each one needs to rest. He causes you, His weary sheep to lie down and to lean into Him. His ‘everlasting arm’ around you quiets your soul as He whispers your name, speaking tender words of encouragement, hope and strength, to restore your soul. He holds you firmly and gently until your fears are quieted, your strength renewed; until you are once again resting in His love.
Isaiah 40:11: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
(A short excerpt from my book A Mustard Seed Life)