“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23:2-3
David being a shepherd noticed the traits of a good shepherd. A good shepherd is concerned much about the welfare and comfort of his sheep by providing rest in rich and green fields. He leads them not beside the rushing water but besides the still and quiet waters so that they can drink without fear. Rich and green grass and still and quiet water refresh them by removing the fear inside and soothing them with comfort. A good shepherd leads and guides his flock on the right path. He will not guide them in a crooked and wrong path that would lead to destruction. They know the way they are traveling is the right and safe path. A good shepherd restores his fearful sheep. He restores the strayed away sheep.
David is a good shepherd, and he takes the imagery to his intimate relationship with the LORD in heaven. He says the LORD makes him lie down in green pastures and leads him beside quiet waters. The LORD personally gives rest and peace to him. Not only he gives rest and peace; the LORD also restores his soul when he is afraid and goes astray.
Beloved, the right rest, peace, and restoration are found only in the LORD. As we studied in yesterday’s insight, Jesus, the good shepherd who sacrificed his life for you is the source of rest, peace and restoration. There is no other good shepherd out there who would grant these precious comforts. Jesus said, and it is recorded in Matthew 11:28, “ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” A good shepherd knows his flock need rest after a weary and burdened day. Jesus knows you need rest because you became weary and heavy laden by the cares and worries of life. The good shepherd calls you to Himself by promising he will give you rest for your souls.
Jesus also said in John 14:27, “ Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” You see, you will find the green pastures and quiet waters for your rest and refreshment in the person of Jesus Christ- the good shepherd. His peace, rest and restoration remove fear from your heart and grants comfort in you.
Then David says the LORD leads and guides him in the right way. Sheep can go astray in the wrong way if not guided in the right path. A good shepherd would not lead them in the wrong way that leads to destruction. Beloved, David experienced LORD’s good leading and guidance even in the very rough and challenging times of his life. He had to leave his home and family fearing King Saul because he tried to kill him many times. On one occasion, David got a rare chance to kill his adversary Saul in a cave, so that he can become the king of Israel. God promised through Samuel that he would become the king and Samuel already anointed his head with oil to become King. However, even at that convenient time to kill King Saul, he did not do it. He dealt with his adversary kindly and honorably because he honored the LORD in heaven. He said, “the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.” David knew that Saul would be dealt with by the LORD in His time and he was forbidden to do such a sin against the LORD. You see the Lord helped him to choose the right path for the sake of His name. In another occasion, he was about to kill Nabal, Abigail’s husband, because of his wickedness. However, God spared him from doing the bloodshed based on the kind words of Abigail.
There are other times David acted wrongly based on the desires of his flesh. However, David would testify to you that the merciful Lord restored his soul when He sought him in repentance. (Psalm 51).
Beloved, the good shepherd, Jesus Christ gave his life for you to save you from predators. He bought you with the price of his divine and sinless blood. The LORD will not forget and forsake the covenant of blood He made with you. He is the good shepherd. He will provide everything you need in your life. He is concerned about your welfare and comfort. He makes you lie down on rich and green pastures and lead you to quiet waters to drink. In Christ, you have rest, peace and restoration. The good shepherd, Jesus Christ, directs and guides you in the right way. Bible says in Isaiah 30:21, “whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Dear one, If you have already gone astray from this good shepherd, may I tell you He wants to restore you to his loving and blessed relationship right now? Please admit your sins and shortcomings and call now for his forgiveness. He restores your soul. He restored David’s soul from the dirty sin he committed in his fleshly desires. Beloved, He will wash and cleanse you. He will make you pure like wool again when He restores you.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I know I can fully trust in your care and provisions. I know you can grant me rest, peace and restoration to my troubled soul. I know you will direct my paths in the right way. Please restore my soul today, Lord. I am sorry I went astray from your presence. Please restore me. I admit and confess my sins and shortcomings. Save me now with the blood of Jesus Christ. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.