He Restores my Soul

5m | Apr 28, 2024

When was the last time you had a day when you felt like something of you was coming apart? Unravelling. It had taken every effort to keep things together throughout the ordeal and now you are scrambling to work out how to put your brain and heart back in order.

When David wrote Psalm 23, the great king and war hero likened himself to a sheep! I have to admit - not the first animal I would think of to try to describe the man. Surely a bear or a lion – the very creatures he had once defeated in face-to-face combat (see 1 Sam 17: 34 – 36).

But the once shepherd, in prayer before Almighty God, saw himself as a sheep. With His Lord as the shepherd. Probably because the battle-hardened soldier king knows what it feels like to have your strength sapped from your very core.

And with that in mind he wrote this…

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

 He restores my soul…” (Ps 23: 1 – 3)

The rest of the psalm talks about enemies and dark valleys but here at the beginning, David has found peace. We don’t know the specific context of Psalm 23, but David experienced enough traumatic adventures during one lifetime to last several. And if this psalm is anything to go by, there must have been at least some occasions when David found the Lord putting him back together, Restoring his soul.

Can we glean anything from these few lines to help us in such times?

First of all, David declares “I shall not want”. This is a bold statement of faith. Whatever the enemy may throw at me, The Lord will give me everything I need. I need not fear that I am going through this on my own. My Father in Heaven and great provider, knows what I need before I ask him, as Jesus taught in Matt 6: 8. And He is with me.

David then describes the Lord, making him lie down in green pastures. I don’t believe that the Lord forces us to do anything (even though He could). But David has learned to sense the promptings of the Spirit and discern his leading to the point where he knows the green pasture is where he is meant to be.

In this place of peace, the sun is warm and there is plenty to eat. He can feed on God’s Word as well as the food God provides and he might even catch up on some well-needed sleep.

The Lord then leads David beside still or quiet waters. Jesus once described the Holy Spirit as water in John 7. We are told he “said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7: 37 – 39).

There is obviously a difference between quiet waters and a river, but the point is there is an invitation to drink. Just as David was led beside quiet waters to drink.  To drink of the Lord. To drink of His Holy Spirit.

No wonder he found his soul restored. 

Audio Player Image
4-minute Devotions - the Podcast