Summary: How is it that sheep under such great care of the shepherd would need to be restored?
He Restoreth My Soul
In our study of the 23rd Psalms we should reminded that these are the words of the sheep who speaks of the care that is given by the Shepherd. It is a great reflection of the relationship the sheep has with it Shepherd.
• The Shepherd makes me content
• I can rest because the Shepherd causes me to
• The Shepherd satisfies our thirst
Vs.3 He restoreth my soul
One would perhaps think that with such great care of the Shepherd, why or how could the sheep come to a place in which his or her soul need restoring.
David, the earthly author of this Psalm, a man after God’s own heart knew what it was like to be cast down and dejected. There were times in David’s life when he experienced defeat and disappointment of being succumbed by temptation.
Mention: Psalms 51:12 David says unto the LORD “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation”
See: Psalms 42:5, 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
Vs.11 For I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God
In my readings from Phillip Keller he mentions that there are times when sheep find themselves on their back and are not able to get upon their feet. The old English shepherd used the term “cast down” sheep.
When a sheep is on its back and are not able to get up depending on the climate it could die in a reasonable short time. This is due the build of gases in the sheep body while struggling to get on its feet. This eventually will cut off blood circulation to the extremities of its body. The shepherd watches with a careful eye over his flock to ensure that this doesn’t happen. When a sheep is missing this explains the urgency of finding this sheep that perhaps has landed upon its back.
Point: The shepherd is not the only one who looks for cast down sheep, but predators also seek for them.
A cast down sheep is helpless and subject to vulnerable attacks of its predators. This makes the problem of a cast down sheep very serious. The shepherd finds himself constantly saving and restoring his sheep. A shepherd must be tender, patient and ever helpful.
Point: Perhaps you can see the parallel here of sheep and Christians.
Comment: We have been given the impression that when a Christian falls, God is disgusted with him or her, but this is not an accurate view of God.
Mention: Matt. 9:36 Jesus had compassion on them as sheep without a Shepherd
Also: Luke 15:4 We see the reason why the Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine and seek after the one.
Our Lord is of great compassion and tender mercies toward us.
Mention: John 21:15-17 Peter had denied the Lord three times and we find our Lord seeking him out while he is on his back (backsliden). Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?
There are several things that Phillip Keller mentions that contributes to “Cast Down Sheep”
1. Sheep are Constantly Seeking for a Soft Spot (usually a round hollow in the ground)