BESIDE THE STILL WATERS [Psalm 23:2]
What are these “STILL WATERS” but the influences and graces of his blessed Spirit? His Spirit attends us in various operations, like waters in the plural — to cleanse, to refresh, to fertilize, and to cherish.
They are “STILL waters,” for the Holy Ghost loves peace, and sounds no trumpet of ostentation in his operations. He may flow into our soul, but not into our neighbor’s, and therefore our neighbor may not perceive the divine presence; and though the blessed Spirit may be pouring His floods into one heart, yet he that sitteth next to the favored one may know nothing of it. “IN SACRED SILENCE OF THE MIND MY HEAVEN, AND THERE MY GOD I FIND.”
Still waters run deep. Nothing more noisy than an empty drum. That silence is golden indeed in which the Holy Spirit meets with the souls of His saints. Not to raging waves of strife, but to peaceful streams of holy love does the Spirit of God conduct the chosen sheep. He is a dove, not an eagle; the dew, not the hurricane. Our Lord leads us beside these “STILL WATERS;” we could not go there of ourselves, we need his guidance, therefore it is said, “HE LEADETH ME.” He does not drive us.Moses drives us by the law, but Jesus leads us by His example, and the gentle drawings of his love.
“HE RESTORETH MY SOUL.” When the soul grows sorrowful he revives it; when it is sinful he sanctifies it; when it is weak he strengthens it. “He” does it. His ministers could not: do it if he did not. His Word would not avail by itself. “He restoreth my soul.” Are any of us low in grace? Do we feel that our spirituality is at its lowest ebb? He who turns the ebb into the flood can soon restore our soul. Pray to Him, then, for the blessing “Restore Thou me, thou Shepherd of my soul.”
“HE LEADETH ME IN THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE.” The Christian delights to be obedient, but it is the obedience of love, to which he is constrained by the example of his Master. “He LEADETH me.” The Christian is not obedient to some commandments and neglectful of others; he does not pick and choose, but yields too all. Observe, that the plural is used — “the PATHS of righteousness.” Whatever God may give us to do we would do it, led by His love.