Seasons of Rest and Refreshing

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.

Psalms 23:2 NKJV

   He makes me to lie down—a primitive root word meaning to make or cause to rest.[I]

   My Shepherd, who knows my every need, causes me to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually for my good.

   In green—new grass, young vegetation, sprout.[ii] The primitive root of the word points to the causation of springing forth. In the definitions of the word and its root, there is both the presence of new growth as well as new growth being caused.[iii]

   He brings me to rest in seasons of new growth. Instead of fearing change, growth, and new seasons of life and ministry, He causes me to know peace in the midst. I find rest in every season when I walk in His grace not my works.

   Pastures —a home,[iv] pasture, or abode.[v] The primitive root speaks to the beauty of the place and that it is a place befitting.[vi]

   He knows what feeds my soul. Spiritually, He brings me to abide in the beautiful places of His presence and kingdom. He also physically brings me to the places befitting my joy, pleasure, and opportunity to grow. When I follow Him, He delivers me to the beautiful places. This is the abundance He promised when I abide in Him (John 10:10; 15:4–5).

   He leads me—to bring me to a place of rest and refreshment.[vii]

   Just as shepherds lead their flocks from watering hole to watering hole as they move toward a final destination, Jesus leads me from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). He leads me gently, motivated by His desire to protect, sustain, supply, and refresh me.

   Beside the—interestingly, the word “beside” can be defined as “above, over upon, or against.”[viii] The same word, used as a preposition, relates to the Highest, and when we dig to the root of the word, we find the context to be about ascending. It speaks of meeting, visiting, and retreating but also relates back to the word for green, with vegetation springing up (new seasons) as we climb up into the presence of the Most High. [ix]

   He delivers me to places of refreshing when I retreat to the secret place of the Most High. When I seek His face, I find Him and all the benefits of sitting in heavenly places with Him and in Him (Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 6:6).

   Still—Within the definition of “still,” we relate back to the phrase “lie down” from earlier. He makes us as peaceful as the still waters. Once again, the idea of an abode, but this time an abode of peace and comfort.[x]  A place of stillness where I am drawn into rest. If we follow the word to the primitive root, it is rest. Everything about this verse leads to rest in His presence wherever He leads us.

   This word “still” can be defined as “consolation” or comfort, as in marriage. A bride finds comfort when she finds a husband who chooses to love, cherish, and provide for her. There is a rest, a peace that comes with being chosen. How much more when I am chosen by God Most High; it stills my soul (Psalms 46:10).

   There is a classic movie titled “Consolation Marriage.” The premise is that a couple meets and marries after both are jilted. I like how this sits here in the still place of matrimony. When we experience a counterfeit, we know the sweetness of the genuine. In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalms 16:11).

   Waters—in an obvious sense, this is as translated, “waters.”[xi] The still waters would be a pool of water, not a rushing stream. Sheep will not drink from moving water. God knows how to deliver me to the best places for refreshing where I can soak in all He has provided me.

   However, there is also the possibility of transition within this definition. He brings me to rest (body, soul, spirit) in new seasons of growth, which spring forth in a pleasant and beautiful abode befitting to me.

   He runs to conduct me under His protection as He sustains, feeds, and guides me, delivering me up to the place of rest, to the Most High. The place of stillness as I know the comfort and ease of His consolation. It is where He stills danger, violence, and transition, then provides me refreshment amid growth and changing seasons.

   This is a picture of sitting in heavenly places, high above all powers and principalities, where we see all things from heaven’s perspective and from an intimate relationship with our God Most High (Ephesians 1:20–2:6).

   Rise up, O Bride, and be seated next to your King, where you will find rest and refreshing (Song of Songs 2:10, 13; Psalms 91:1; Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:29).

[I]               J. Strong, Strong’s Dictionaries, e-Sword Bible study software.

[ii]               F. D. Brown, S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, e-Sword

[iii]              Ibid.

[iv]              Strong, Strong’s Dictionaries, e-Sword.

[v]               Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Lexicon, e-Sword.

[vi]              Ibid.

[vii]             Ibid.

[viii]             Strong, Strong’s Dictionaries, e-Sword.

[ix]              Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Lexicon, e-Sword.

[x]               Strong, Strong’s Dictionaries, e-Sword.

[xi]              Ibid.

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