Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pasture of Uncertainty

Where do you dwell? Today we're breaking down Psalm 37:3. After spending Monday musing and meditating over this verse, I think it only fair to spend today studying it.

The NKJV says it like this: "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness."

But the KJV puts it like this: "Trust in the LORD, and do good so shalt though dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed."

Looks like we need to pull out…

Key Words: "good" "dwell" "feed on His faithfulness"

Trust in the Lord. Trust defined by the dictionary is: "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something"

But what is good? It's a broad word.

"Good" in the Hebrew is "towb" meaning, "pleasing, agreeable (to the senses" it means to be pleasing, be joyful, be beneficial." (from the root word)

So we could say, "Rely on God and His character, ability, strength and His truth and be joyful and beneficial…"

What exactly does it mean to dwell? Off the top of my head, I would say live. But it actually means something else.

"Dwell" in Hebrew is "shakan" and it means to "settle down, abide" and the root word of "shakan" is "shakab" which means "to lie down, to rest, to relax"

Reminds me a little of David's Psalm, "you make me lie down in green pastures."

And what of land? Well, the Psalmist might be referring to  Canaan--the promised land. However, we can't all just pick up and move on in over there. So it must mean more than just that particular piece of land. Right?

It can also mean land in general or the whole earth.

And our last key word before we put it all together is that phrase "feed on his faithfulness" or in the KJV, "thou shalt be fed"

The Hebrew word for this phrase is "ra'ah" meaning, "to pasture, to tend, to graze, to shepherd.

So we could say, "Rely on God and His character, ability, strength and His truth and be joyful and beneficial and you will abide and be able to relax on this earth and be fed as sheep in a pasture, tended by a good shepherd."

We live in a land that is full of uncertainty, chaos, violence, disease, death, grief and the list goes on.

Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

I'm so glad that's there, because when it comes to this earth and what happens in it, I don't understand. But I don't have to. And neither do you. We are to trust the LORD in every sense of the meaning.

This scripture in the Psalms is like a sandwich. It begins with a command to trust and what? do good. Be beneficial and joyful. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with doing good."

God knows the place we live can suck the joy right out of us. He knows we need to trust Him and He speaks that first, and then we're plopped into the land to dwell. But…the hope and promise is in the last part of the verse.

You shall be fed i.e. taken care of, provided for, able to rest and abide because someone is looking out for you and caring for you.

John 10:11 (Jesus speaking) says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

I can trust a shepherd who laid down His life for me.  And so can you.

He is faithful!

Practical application: Trust God to take care of you in an uncertain world. Relax. Be joyful. He is the good Shepherd.

What is one of your go-to scriptures when you are in uncertain times and need to be reminded you can trust God?

Come by I'm hosting! :) 


  1. Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect peace him who's mind is steadfast on you, because he trusts in you.

    That's one of my go-tos :)
    LOVED this today - actually was reading it while dealing with my son, reminding him life isn't always perfect, but we can always find God's peace...I ended up quoting parts of this outloud to him:)

    1. Ha! I'm glad you both got something out of it. :) I love Isaiah 26:3. The key is keeping the mind STEADFAST!

  2. You are talking to me on so many levels today!!!

    Go to verse, be strong and courageous one. And Isaiah 41:10.

    ~ Wendy

    1. :) I hear that one in my head often, Wendy. Be strong. Be courageous.

  3. I love how you broke this down, Jessica. I also love the thought of "relaxing" in God. To me that's saying you know He can take care of it.

    One of my favorite passages is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

    1. You're right. If we can relax, He's obviously in control. I like that verse too. Sometimes I want to understand everything going on, or not going on, in my life but I can relax a lot more when I grasp the fact that I don't have to understand. I just have to trust.

  4. Ooo, so good, Jess. One of my faves is Isaiah 43:2-3a: "When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

    1. I love this verse too, Linds! Something about wild waters and me not swaying or being taken under that strengthens me!

  5. You know what I love most about this verse, and so many others that command us to trust? If God is commanding it, then I know it's something I can do! When He says to trust, instead of me saying: "I can't! There are just too many rotten things taking place right now." I can say: "God has commanded me to trust in Him with all my heart and LEAN NOT on my own understandings - I can do it! I choose to do it!" There are so many scriptures I rely on - but Proverbs 3:5-6 is probably one of my favorites.

  6. I do love Proverbs 3:5, and Psalm 121.

    I love how you break this all down, Jess. Outstanding post!

  7. Absolutely wonderful, Jess. Ahhh, I love Wednesdays on your blog!

    A simple verse I always come back to, "And lo, I am with you always." I actually remember thinking that verse to myself at night before going to sleep as a kid...over and over.

    Jeremiah 29:11 is another of my go-to verses when life feels uncertain...such a good reminder that God always has a plan and it's always good. And the one Susan mentioned above in Isaiah...I've got that one written on the markerboard on my fridge.

  8. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. It give me hope that even if I feel hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, I can still make it if I just trust Him!

  9. Hi Jessica! I'm testing your comment system on behalf of a client that was having difficulty replying here. Glad to make your acquaintance!

  10. I LOVE this. Especially when you break down what it means to "dwell".

    I needed this.

    My go-to verses are usually Philippians 4:4-9. It gives me peace.


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