“He Restoreth My Soul” Psalm 23:3

He restoreth my soul is the first part of verse 3.  The second part of verse 3 “He guides me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake” will appear next month.  What does it mean “He restoreth my soul”?  There are three principles I came across for restoring my soul.  These include rest, reflection, and replenishment.  Quite possibly David may have been at rest when he composed this Psalm.  This was not a song to prepare for battle, but rather a time to enjoy a time of rest and relaxation in God’s presence.

Secondly, restoration involves reflection. His soul was restored as he looked at life from God’s perspective.  He felt protected, safe, and secure under the leadership of God.  Thirdly, his restoration included replenishment.  Both rest and reflection led to a reviewed vigor to live for God.  This replenishment also included an anticipation to be with God forever in the future.  David could live with a restored soul and prepare him for the problems of the day.  He knew that God was with him, that He cared for him, and would never leave his side.  There was no battle too big for him to face with God in his life.  The same is true in our lives.  If we wish to see God restore our soul, we need to make time to rest, reflect, and replenish.  We must not expect to live with a fresh sense of God’s presence in our lives if we constantly rush from one issue to the next.  To be restored may take time.  We must be focused on God and His greatness, and let it renew us with hope and joy regarding this life and the anticipation of spending eternity with Him.

There is an old English shepherd’s term for a sheep that has turned over on its back.  It’s called “cast”.  A cast sheep can be a rather pathetic sight as they flay frantically to stand up.  It is the shepherd’s job to keep a close eye out for a “cast” sheep.  In the life of a Christian, there is both an exciting and comfortable parallel here.  We see Jesus again and again as the Good Shepherd picking up the “cast” sheep.  He comes quietly, gently, and reassuringly to us no matter when, where, or how we may be cast down.  How can we be “cast”?  With the sheep, they may choose the comfortable, soft, and rounded hollow in the ground to lie down.  It then becomes easy for them to roll over.  It can be that way with the Christian.  There is a danger in always looking for the easy place, the cozy corner, the comfortable position where there seems to be no hardship.

David, the author of this Psalm must have felt the bitterness of feeling hopeless and without strength in himself.  He restoreth my soul is such a rich testimony of his faith and trust in God.  May you find rest, reflection, and replenishment in the arms of our Good Shepherd, Jesus, the living Christ.