He Restores My Soul - Psalm 23:3
Psalm 23 is one of the most famous Psalms if not one of the most famous chapters in all of the Holy Bible! It has provided great comfort to God’s people throughout the ages! Who hasn’t heard, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”, or “…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”?!
In Psalm 23, David has established God has his shepherd, guarding him, guiding him, and surrounding him with all the goodness of God.
In Psalm 23:3 David says this of God, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”. It’s a very short verse, but packed with important truth!
To fully understand this verse, we first must define soul and spirit. In the English language, soul and spirit are often used interchangeably. This can make understanding this scripture a little hard to understand. Soul refers to the immaterial part of a person that is their personage – or personality, what makes you, you. Spirit refers to the immaterial part of a person that connects directly with God. In Luke 1:46-47 we read, “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior,”. Here, Mary is using her soul to glorify God, while her spirit connects to God in fellowship and rejoicing.
Continuing on in this scripture, we read, “He leads me in paths of righteousness…”. Here, the Hebrew word translated as righteousness is Sedeq (tseh-dek) and can mean righteousness, righteous, just, or justice. Here David is showing us that the LORD, leads us as a good shepherd, showing us which way to go. In this case he doesn’t merely mean physically, but also morally.
Circling back to the beginning of Psalm 23:3, the psalm starts off with telling us that God restores our soul. He’s bringing restoration back to us. This isn’t merely a refreshment or rest. The Hebrew word translated here as refreshment is sub (Shoob), and it is full of meaning! The word means, to turn back, to return, to bring back, to restore, refresh, and repair. So, what David is expressing here is that God enables us to turn away from sin, and in this He will bring us back from the death of sin to life in Him, repairing us, refreshing us, and restoring us to who He created us to be!
And as we read in the final words of Psalm 23:3, He does this for His name’s sake. Yes, God cares for us out of His great love for us, but also to display the glory of His grace. It isn’t based on the merit of man, it is based on His perfect nature.
Psalm 23:3, is a very comforting scripture, demonstrating how God leads us from certain death in sin to an eternity in Him through paths of righteousness, refreshing and restoring us back to His image to the glory and praise of His most holy name!
Heavenly Father, we thank you for being our shepherd. Bless us and help us to respond to the calling of your voice to walk in your path of righteousness, having our souls restored to the glory and praise of your name! We pray this in the name of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen!