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)
It is there in that hollow soft spot they end up on their back from the turning.
Point: This is often so with Christians looking for the easy place, cozy or comfortable position with no demand of self discipline.
Mention: 1 Cor. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Comment: This is why there are times in our life God puts us in a pasture that is not so comfortable.
2. Too Much Wool
The burden of the wool often cast a sheep down. This wool is the picture of the old self-life of the Christian, better put the outward expression of a inward attitude. This result in a clinging to worldly possessions that eventually drags one down.
Comment: The only course of action for the shepherd in such case is to sheer the sheep, and the Lord must often time use the two-edged sword to get our attention.
3. Too Healthy
This is a picture of a Christian that has place success ahead of Him whom they should be serving. This can be true in business, careers, and Churches. This sense of, “I have arrived’
Mention: Rev. 3:17 The down fall of this Church age
Point: thank God “He restoreth our soul”
See: Psalms 56:13 David in a moment of being cast down write these words.