The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, July 13, 2017
Early Tuesday morning we passed these donkeys in a Lebanon County pasture. With good rains thus far this summer our area pastures have stayed lush and green.
"The Blessing Of Safe Pasture"
Message summary: The same deep satisfaction that David referred to 3,000 years ago may also be ours today as we regularly delight ourselves in the Lord. It is in this place of safe pasture that the desires of our heart will be carefully shaped by our loving Lord as we feed on His abundance and live by His principles.
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"Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:1-4).
We enjoy seeing animals out in the pasture. Normally we see horses, cows and sheep but for several months we've been driving past a pasture in Lebanon County with donkeys. Now it's not unusual to see a donkey or two in a field but this pasture has many, much like we often see in a pasture of sheep.
Pasture is land with vegetation cover used for grazing of livestock as part of a farm or ranch. We saw a lot more pasture when we lived in the midwest since the land around here is so valuable tilled and planted in crops. Of course pastures usually have a lot of droppings which brings to mind a recollection of my very colorful Uncle Gentry who was a farmer and banker in tiny Harwood Missouri. He referred to golf as "cow pasture pool". Fellow Missourian Mark Twain called golf, "a good walk spoiled".
Likely, for most people the most familiar Biblical use of the word pasture is from the 23rd Psalm where David gives a word picture, "He makes me lie down in green pastures." "Green pasture" connotes health and abundant life.
In today's verse the Psalmist David, as in Psalm 23, also uses an agricultural illustration to connect to his readers. Today let us examine this passage but especially focus on the words "safe pasture".
"Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away." All around us we see evil and evildoers, which has been true since the Fall. We need to regularly be reminded by the Psalmist's consoling advice, "Do not fret".
"Trust in the Lord and do good." This familiar exhortation, which is such a common theme through the Scriptures, is reflected in the lyrics of the classic hymn, "Trust And Obey". This is at the very heart of what God calls each of us to do on our earthly journey.
"Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." Surely David is foundationally speaking from a spiritual perspective. Safe pasture connotes security, abundance, and faithfulness. A footnote in the NASV indicates that David is counseling his readers to, "feed securely or feed on His faithfulness." The Amplified Bible directs the reader to, "feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed."
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." We can admire a person from a distance for his or her beauty, talent, skills or accomplishments, but to delight in a person holds deeper meaning since it suggests strong relational involvement, not a distant admiration.
To delight ourselves in the Lord is to desire and enjoy His nearness and the truth and righteousness of His Word. As we develop and nurture this kind of relationship with God we surrender our desires to Him so that they are in accordance to His will. The desires that flow from within will be greatly influenced by His abiding presence in our hearts.
The same deep satisfaction that David referred to 3,000 years ago may also be ours today as we regularly delight ourselves in the Lord. It is in this place of safe pasture that the desires of our heart will be carefully shaped by our loving Lord as we feed on His abundance and live by His principles.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we place our complete trust in You, for You are a faithful, trustworthy, and loving God. As we feed on Your faithfulness and live by Your righteousness we find ourselves delighting in Your presence. We delight in You when we sing praises, when we give ourselves in service to others, and most especially when we commune with You in prayer. May the desires of our heart bring delight to Yours as we conform ourselves to Your will and resist the "grass" that lures us to the other side of the fence, outside of Your safe boundaries. We want to dwell in the land You provide and enjoy safe pasture until we reach our future Promised Land where boundaries will not be required, for danger will not exist in heaven. We eagerly await that precious and glorious promotion! Amen.
Some of our photos we've taken through the years of animals in pasture
These horses are enjoying the green pasture on a farm around the corner from our house at the junction of Colebrook and Kraybill Church Road.
Click on photo for a larger view, along with today's Scripture text.
Cows grazing in the green pasture land on a farm north of New Holland.
We caught these baby lambs grazing pasture on a farm in eastern Lancaster County.
Sheep, two by two, grazing in our neighborhood on Flory Road.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Green Pastures" Video Fernando Ortega
"In Shady Green Pastures" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"I Will Delight" Video Fernando Ortega
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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