What is your greatest physical need? You probably know, it is to breathe oxygen. You can not go without breathing much more than a minute without brain damage. Four to five minutes without oxygen is always fatal. Of course, oxygen is so plentiful in the air that the shepherd rarely has to be concerned about providing that for his sheep. However, the second greatest physical need for both sheep and people is for water. Two days without water can begin to result in very harmful dehydration, and three days or more can be fatal.
The Psalmist here in Psalm 23:2b deals with our need for water. “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” A shepherd has to see that his sheep get water or they will die. Christian shepherd, Phil Keller, in his book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, says sheep routinely rise very early, even before dawn to graze the green grass. Very often they get much of their water from the dew on the grass. This meets their need for food and much of their need for water
However, they need more water than that. Water is a special problem to sheep. Most have very poor eyesight and rapid brooks frighten them. Keller goes on to say, “sheep will sometimes die of thirst before they will drink from a noisy stream.” “Still waters” here suggest deep pools of placid waters. It refers not only to abundant supply, but also to easy access without danger. This does not happen accidentally. The shepherd would probably dig a well, build a reservoir by a spring, or dam up a stream to provide these “still waters.”.
We also need Spiritual water. This Scripture speaks not only of our physical need for water but implies our need for Spiritual water. Both provide satisfaction and peace. A sheep or a human being who is separated from his water supply begins to be anxious and fearful. However, when the water is provided, the fear is taken away and there is satisfaction and contentment. When sheep have this food and water, they lie down in the green pastures, satisfied, and content.
Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39).
Jesus asks, “Are you thirsty? Come to me and drink. He is speaking of thirst for Spiritual water.. Are you thirsty to know God? Come to Jesus and believe in Him. Read His Word and drink of His Spirit. You can have satisfaction and peace both now and forever! Amen!