Thirst – Sheep and Shepherds
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2
“Water determines the vitality, strength, and vigor of the sheep and is essential to its health and general well-being.” **
The physical body of sheep, of all animals, of all human beings, is made aware of a lack of water by thirst. When a physical body has not had enough water, dehydration, weakness, and serious other problems and/or damages can occur.
Interestingly, sheep do not require a pond or a water trough fed by a deep well in order to obtain the right amount of water for their physical well-being. Sheep can even go for months without actually drinking. Yet, they need water more often than “going for months without” might imply. A very important source of water for sheep is a heavy dew on the grass…the pasture. Sheep will usually begin feeding just before dawn. They may also feed at night fall when the moon is bright. If circumstances are right for dew, the grass would be drenched at those hours, making the sheep’s intake of water a feast enough for their bodies’ needs.
In order for sheep to have enough grass upon which to feed, the shepherd leads them to the pastures that have a fresh growth of grass and a stream with clean, clear water nearby. He knows just where he is leading them for exactly what they need so that the sheep remain healthy.
When sheep become thirsty, they become restless, setting out on their own if the shepherd leaves them to their own devices. They may end up at a mud hole or at a water supply that is contaminated. Consequently, they may end up with internal parasites or other disease germs.
The Good Shepherd will lead us, as well. He knows where “the quiet, deep, clean, pure water is to be found that can satisfy His sheep and keep them fit.”
Dew is such a beautiful picture of the still waters as they hang heavy as water droplets. Looking into a droplet, a tiny reflection can be seen in its clarity. May we see clearly as we look into our souls and see that we need Jesus.
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the LORD, for My people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken Me,
the Fountain of Living Waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:12-13
I went my our own way. I tried to do things my way. I did not even look for anyone (or any One) to help me. I drank muddy water. I wandered aimlessly into fields where there was no water for my thirst. Oh, so many times I searched for something I thought I needed or wanted in my life only to find that I was lost. I had gone the wrong way, hewing out my own way, my own cistern. I became broken. I could not do things myself without becoming hungry or thirsty. I needed Jesus. I needed a Shepherd.
For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25
Little did I know that I needed Him to lead me in His ways…to those still, clear, refreshing waters where I could be refreshed and made whole.
to suffer thirst, suffer from thirst
- figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened
When one drinks, she/he takes in, accepts, believes. When I drank of the Living Waters, the life of Christ became a part of me. I believed and asked Him to be my LORD and Savior. The closer I walk with my Shepherd, the more I become like Jesus. I do not thirst. My Shepherd quenches all thirst as long as I stay close.
Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35
Thirsty souls are only quenched in Jesus, by Jesus, through Jesus.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-15
I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon. Hosea 14:4-6
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
…from an old hymn, “Dear Lord and Father Of Mankind,” by John Greenleaf Whitter
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. Isaiah 41:17
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrew 13:20-21) Father God, I pray the words of Hebrew as my own and thank You for breathing new life into me through Your Son. You led this sheep to water and I thirst no more. I am sorry when I stray. As I age, it seems I am doing that less and less. I praise You for loving this sheep and never losing me. I thank You and praise Your Name through Christ. Amen.