Do you ever choose your coffee mug based on your mood? I do. When I need to feel productive, I pick the mug that says, “I turn coffee into books.” When I need a boost of confidence, I grab “Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice.” But I have one mug in my cabinet I reach for more than any other. I love its shape and how it feels in my hand, but mostly I love the simple script message on its side: “He restores my soul.”
There are many days when my soul feels depleted. I’m weary from serving my family. I’m frustrated by my sin. I’m burdened by the brokenness all around me. I won’t find what I need in the caffeine-laced beverage poured into my favorite mug. But I have a Shepherd who restores my soul.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:2–3)
We saw last week in Psalm 23:1 that we have a caring Shepherd who provides everything we need. In these verses, we learn that our Shepherd gives us rest, refreshment, restoration, and righteousness.
The Hebrew word translated “restore” means to turn back or return. Our souls were originally created for communion with God, but our relationship with our Creator has been ruined by sin. The good news of these verses is that our Shepherd has returned our soul to the fellowship it was created for, bringing us back into relationship with Himself.
Although David penned these words centuries before Jesus walked the earth, we learn from John 10 that these verses find their fulfillment in our incarnate Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He is the door of the sheep and if “anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:7,9).
We can rest because Jesus our Shepherd laid down His life for us. He refreshes our weary hearts with His love, grace, and mercy. He restores our soul with His Word. He guides His sheep as we grow in righteousness for His glory.
No matter what you face this week, God will give you rest, refreshment, restoration, and righteousness.
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