Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Thirst – Sheep and Shepherds

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.  Psalm 23:2

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 appalled, O heavens, at this;
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.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  John 7:37-38

διψάω

dipsaō

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

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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

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I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.

I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.  Hosea 14:4-6
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
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

When the poor and needy seek water,
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.

 

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** quotes by W. Phillip Keller in “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”
Photo: Dew17
Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Heaven’s Dew with Charles Spurgeon

IMG_1350I have written about “dew” a few times recently.  Yesterday, I walked out on my back porch to where two Christmas poinsettias are sitting on a plant bench.  Our weather has been damp, foggy, with dew covering everything for much of each day.  This is not like South Texas very often.  I captured the beautiful dew on this bright red plant in some photos and just had to visit “dew” again.

Mr. Spurgeon writes a profound piece (as usual) which is most of my post:

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The Thirteenth of September.

From Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Check Book”

257-The Dew of Heaven

“His heavens shall drop down dew.” (Deuteronomy 33:28)

What the dew in the East is to the world of nature, that is the influence of the Spirit in the realm of grace.  How greatly do I need it!  Without the Spirit of God I am a dry and withered thing.  I droop, I fade, I die.  How sweetly does this dew refresh me!  When once favored with it I feel happy, lively, vigorous, elevated.  I want nothing more.  The Holy Spirit brings me life and all that life requires.  All else without the dew of the Spirit is less than nothing to me: I hear, I read, I pray, I sing, I go to the table of Communion, and I find no blessing there until the Holy Ghost visits me.  But when He bedews me, every means of grace is sweet and profitable.

What a promise is this for me! “His heavens shall drop down dew.”  I shall be visited with grace.  I shall not be left to my natural drought, or to the world’s burning heat, or to the sirocco of satanic temptation. Oh, that l may at this very hour feel the gentle, silent, saturating dew of the Lord!  Why should I not!  He who has made me to live as the grass lives in the meadow will treat me as He treats the grass; He will refresh me from above.  Grass cannot call for dew as I do.  Surely, the Lord who visits the unpraying plant will answer to His pleading child.

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Mr. Spurgeon, you have blessed me this day.

Father God, more than Mr. Spurgeon’s words and word-pictures, Your beautiful dew on these bright red leaves has given me such a thrill, a delight.  They are so lovely.  The edge of the leaf furthest to the right in this photo has dew drops dangling from the its sides for it is at the perfect angle for that to happen.  …Your creation wearing your creation…  How beautiful You are, my LORD.  How beautiful You are!  The refreshment by Your Holy Spirit falls none too often.  The dew covers these leaves as You cover me.  You envelop me with Your Love touching my very soul, bringing life-giving living waters to this dry soul.  You wrap me in the moist air of holiness and teach me about holiness.  You soak me with tenderness and kindness.  I deserve none yet You give so willingly.  I praise You, Father.  I thank You for adopting me and then drenching me with Your dew.  You are Refreshment.  You are the very Dew that my body, soul and mind need.  I want to absorb You, LORD, Your Love, Your gentleness, Your beauty … right on in.  In the Name of Your Wonderful Son, I pray.  Amen. 

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Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Dew

These past two weeks, I have been pondering clouds and fog.  Dew has always fascinated me too.  God uses dew as another visual for us to learn about Him.

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The word dew brings to my mind refreshment, renewal, invigoration, even life. In the natural world, waterfalls, streams, lakes, rivers, rainfall and snow are sources of refreshment for the plants and soil of the earth. Another source is dew. It is the moisture from a wet ground that travels up or moist air that journeys downward. Whether traveling up or down, the morning grasses are laden with dew when the circumstances are just right. “Dew will never appear while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest — absolute rest — before the invisible particles of moisture will become dew to dampen any plant or flower.”   (from Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s Streams in the Desert, January 30th)

He provides and cares:

When the dew settled on the camp, the manna also came down.  Numbers 11:9

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” for they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'”  Exodus 16:13-16

So Israel will live in safety alone; Jacob’s spring is secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.  Deuteronomy 33:28

God uses the word dew repeatedly in His Word. Physically, we see it quenching the thirst of plants and crops. Just as the grass is rejuvenated by the early morning dew, God invigorates us with His love, His Word, His peace, His joy. We, too, must reach that still and quiet place in our being — that absolute rest — before the dew of God falls upon us. Our busyness, our rushing, our schedules keep us from that beautiful point. The quiet moments, the time in God’s Word, praying, sitting beside a stream in utter stillness, the lingering in the beauty of a sunset … these are the places when the wind of busyness ceases, the temperature of daily schedules falls, the air of worry and fear cools and rests. Then the sweet moisture of God’s love becomes dew to refresh our bodies, minds, and souls.

Ponder the words our Father invites us to savor for God promises to care for us in EVERY way:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; not for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And who are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil not do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But first seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:25-34

We are compared to grass — tender, vulnerable, momentary. Yet, in Matthew 6, we are reminded of God’s loving care for us.  Our vulnerability, our tenderness, our momentary stay on God’s earth should lead us to trust in His care, for God is our only hope, the Trustworthy One.

All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.  Isaiah 40:6b-7

He refreshes us with His dew:

Let them fear You while the sun endures, And as long as the moon, throughout all generations.  May He come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.  Psalm 72:5-6

The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.  Proverbs 19:12

Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.  “Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as dewAs the droplets on the fresh grass And as the showers on the herb.  “For I proclaim the Name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God.!”  Deuteronomy 32:1-2 (Song of Moses)

The LORD renews His blessing to Israel, calling His people to return to Him:

I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like a lily.  Like a cedar of Lebanon He will send down his roots; His young shoots will grow.  His splendor will be like an olive tree, His fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.  Men will dwell again in His shade.  He will flourish like the grain.  He will blossom like a vine, and His fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.  Hosea 14:5-7

The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.  Zechariah 8:12

Likewise, He calls us to Himself:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  John 6:37


Dew of Quietness

Drop thy still dew of quietness
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

– Whittier
Source unknown
but retrieved from bible.org

Are you being refreshed?

LORD, I pray that I would know this absolute rest and that it will envelop me.  May I feel the precious moisture of Your heavenly dew refreshing me.  I want to know You, LORD. Teach me to be still. Teach me to ponder things of You.  Teach me to rest in You.  I do seek Your face.  Fill me with Your Word.  Moisten my lips that I may speak Your Truth.  Renew me, LORD, as never before.  O, Heavenly father, shower my heart, my mind, and my soul with Your heavenly dew. In the blessed Name of Jesus, Amen.

Photo of dew:  from  https://melindaschwakhofer.wordpress.com