2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
David, no doubt, knew what made the sheep comfortable; he provided everything that the sheep needed. Because I am visual, when I recite Psalm 23, verse 2, I can see myself lying down in green pastures (verdant fields). I feel at peace because God compels me to rest and be at peace in my green pastures, His Word; I feel contentment in my soul. Green pastures, also, means God has secured bountiful provisions for me. The Lord guides and compels me to be still, calm and rest, knowing that he is God (Psalm 46:10); hence, the still waters. To sum up, for me, it means rest for my soul, for God has provided my green pastures.
As an aside, Pastor Vander Laan, (http://www.steppesoffaith.com/), notes that the green pastures of biblical times was not like our vision of green pastures today. The sheep grazed off of little sprigs coming from under rocks where there was a little moisture. Israel did not have lush green foliage; it was and is an arid climate. The sheep did not get their fill from one area alone, they had to go from sprig to sprig to receive and get their food; however, they were satisfied in the end. At night, the shepherd provided an enclosure for the sheep to keep them from danger.
So, our green pastures are a place of rest and comfort in God’s Word, not a place where we can gouge on provisions in one place. God gives us enough for today; he, alone, knows our needs, our desires and our wants. Jesus encloses us with his love and it is his Blood that covers at all times, even in times of peril and danger.
I am sure David remembered leading his sheep beside still water. He was perhaps leading them to a little small brook where there is the quiet, comforting sound of the slow drip of water. He would never have led them to a river, a lake or even a stream because it would be too dangerous. (Laan) It would frighten them, I surmise, because sheep are pretty dumb; they may even have gone into the water and drowned. The quietness of the water was a time of rest as well as safety for the sheep. God does not lead us to a place of danger where we will be harmed. He does lead us to a place of rest and tranquility; a place where we can be refresh in the “safe zone” of his love and divine protection.