He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
When a sheep lies down in green pastures, what does that tell you about him?
-he is full and has no desire to eat another bite
-he feels totally safe and secure from all threats and dangers
-he is completely content
After the sheep have eaten all morning, the Shepherd gives them a wonderful place to rest and ruminate (chew the cud). That is how the sheep gets the greatest benefit from his food.
As a shepherd does that for his sheep, our Great Shepherd does so for us. He sees to it that all of our needs are met, then he “makes me” lie down in that special, safe and prepared place. He does so to give us a wonderful opportunity to rest and meditate on the Person, Works and Words of our Great God. That is how we get the greatest benefit from our spiritual food.
This word “makes” is the weakest of three words used in this Psalm that indicate that our Great Shepherd “makes” us do something. Here, He makes us do something that is just the natural thing to do. It is like my wife, Marty, “making me” lie down in the recliner after feasting on the wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving Dinner which she has prepared and served to us.
I hope that all of us are grateful for these special provisions from or our Great Shepherd, that we enjoy His provided rest and that we are greatly blessed by meditating on the Person, Works and Words of our Great God.
I also hope that we follow the example of our Great Shepherd by providing such rest for those that we shepherd on His behalf: our mates, children, Sunday School students, congregations, etc.