A couple years ago I listened to and learned some amazing things from Ray Vander Laan and his Follow the Rabbi lectures (though Focus on the Family).
I remembered learning about the actual meaning of "green pastures" from the famous Psalm 23, I googled it and found this great video that explains it - and the video imagery makes the point even more than words ever could.
The green meadows were actually rocky hills, and with the very small amount of moisture available in the area, small tufts of grass grow by these small rocks, and the Shepherd leads His sheep to those tufts of grass, and every day the sheep eat them, and there is just enough for what they need for that day.
In other words - God gives us what we need for the day, or even for the moment, when we need it. This verse is not promising us a happy-go-lucky life with no problems along the way. No, it's promising us that God will provide what we need when we need it, and not before - if we follow Him! The grass is sparse and we can't find it on our own. But we can trust Him, because He was faithful yesterday and the day before that and He will continue to be faithful today and every day.
Anyway, here's the video.....
And the still waters?
In the deserts, wadis can quickly kill. In fact, in that part of the world, more people die in the desert from floods than from starvation or dehydration. When it rains in the hills, water rushes through the wadis, creating flash floods that can’t be seen or heard until it’s too late to escape.
Sheep without a shepherd go to the wadis to find fresh water and have no hope of escaping the floods. It’s the shepherd’s job to find “still water,” that is, water that doesn’t risk death.
For more about the Shepherd - click here.
Acts 14: 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Here we see the doctrine of common grace. As Rayburn says....
This is, of course, not the saving grace of God which, when pitched on a sinner, in election, redemption, and salvation, draws him out of sin and death, delivers him from the curse of sin, and brings him into fellowship with God.....It is grace that is given to the just and the unjust alike. And it accounts for all that is orderly, worthy, good, and beautiful in sinful human life.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Psalms 26-28; Acts 15:1-21