Summary: A look at Psalms 23:3a
“He Restoreth My Soul”
Psalms 23:3 “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. “
Most know the meaning of restoration even if you do not know the definition: “to bring back, refresh, repair”
Once you were sick but the sickness left and the sunlight dawned on a brighter day.
You were restored to health.
God restores the souls of His people.
David wrote this not as the Shepherd but as a sheep.
What was the restoration that David was speaking of?
1. Restoration from lost to saved [Unsaved condition]
2. Restoration from fallen to wellness [Christian walk]
Here I believe that David was crying out for joy that he had been out grazing and then found himself flat on His back.
Let’s look at this simple phrase, “He restoreth my soul”.
I. Cast Down
Cast is an old shepherd’s word which means that a sheep has turned over on its back and cannot get up by its self.
Let’s look at the fallen and see if we can figure out what happened.
1. Often this happens to the fat or long fleeced sheep when they lie down.
They need to lie down so they pick a comfortable place like a little depression in the ground.
They lie down and stretch out just a little to let their legs relax and in an instant they relax and they role too far.
This happens because of the center of cavity is off and once they loose contact with feet they cannot right themselves.
2. It will take the intervention of the shepherd.
While lying there, several this begin to happen
b. The stomach begins to expand do to gas/due to stress
c. Blood circulation to the legs are cut off.
d. In just a few hours the sheep could be dead if it is hot or a few days if it is cooler.
If this happens to be an ewe then a threat to the unborn lamb is at stake as well.
3. The shepherd steps out of his home and does not look out but looks up.
In the air is a buzzard circling.
A look of fear goes over the shepherds face as he begins to franticly search for a “cast” sheep.
It may take hours but the shepherd continues looking until he finds the cast sheep.
Once the sheep is spotted the shepherd runs to the sheep and begins by rolling the sheep on its side.
The sheep may need help even more and the shepherd lifts the sheep up and straddles the sheep.
This is needed because the sheep has lost equilibrium and cannot stand on there own.
The shepherd does not take time for discipline but rather begins to rub the legs.
While rubbing the shepherd begins to speak to calm the sheep down and soon the sheep begins to take the first step.
First one is a little shaky but soon they regain their balance and they head out to graze once more.
“He restoreth my soul” is this picture.
II. The Shepherd
Jesus as the Great Shepherd often while on this earth works on the “cast” sheep as he traveled.
1. Peter in John 21:15-17 Jesus picked him up and began to put him back on his feet.
2. Luke 15:3-7 parable of the lost sheep
Step back in the Old Testament and we see the Great Shepherd as well.
Psalms 42:11 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Psalms 56:13 “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”
III. We The Sheep
1. We often look for the soft spot with the hollow so we can find rest.
2. When we get comfortable we face the danger of being “cast”.
The time when we think we have arrived and are now ready to relax, DANGER is at hand.
Self-indulgence instead of disciplined and surrendered life.
Or over burdened with long fleece? A picture of the things of this world.
When this happens the remedy is easy: time to go the shears and get rid of the heavy burden.
3. How about the fact we are too fat?
We want to be healthy but over weight is not good ether.
Jesus sent warnings to the church that thought they had arrived.
Revelation 3:17-19 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”