"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
This verse is so amazing because it has so much comfort in it. In the first verse, we learned that the Lord is our Shepherd, so the 'He' would be that Shepherd. He has put us into a place of peace and rest. He gives us the comfort of leading us. If we can only get hold of this revelation, we can grow in the Lord so much. If the Lord is doing the leading, if He is the One giving us the peace, if He is the One giving us the rest, then it follows that He is the One Who is carrying the load of our lives. We are at peace. In this incredibly fast and hectic world, that is such a comfort as long as we give all of our cares to Him.
1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
When the Lord puts us into this place of peace and rest AND we cast our cares on Him, what do you suppose happens next? Verse three says that "He restores my soul". In the Amplified bible it states that 'He refreshes and restores my life (my self)'. What a blessing of God! Just think a minute about your life. How would it feel if you could have time to just relax, be refreshed, and have your WHOLE LIFE restored? What would restoration of your life mean to you? I can not tell you this one. Right now is a good time to stop and meditate about this word 'restore'. Ask God what 'restore' means to Him. (note: the word 'meditate' means to think about, to think through.)
Remember the story of Joseph in Genesis? After he had been taken into captivity, gone through a number of years of difficulties, Pharaoh set him as governor over the land with all the authority of the Pharaoh. There were seven years of plenty but then a famine spread over the land. At that time, his father sent his brothers to Egypt to find food because they had heard that there was plenty. Although they did not know their brother, Joseph, he recognized them and gave them not only food but returned their money to them. That is a type of restoration from God.
Genesis 42:25, "Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them."
Within the laws of God in Exodus, Leviticus and so on, He shows us over and over what He thinks of restoration. If something happens to the goods of a person, He commands that they be restored to the owner each and every time. The Lord commanded that lands be restored as well. The prophets and apostles teach this as well. Where did they get this from? From God. It is His nature to restore and revive.
2 Samuel 9:7, "And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually."
But then, He looks, not only into our physical or financial situations, but also into our spirits and minds.
Psalms 51:12, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."
Isaiah 57:18, "I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners."
Take the time to check out the bible concerning this word 'restore'. It will give you a revelation of Who God is and what He is interested in doing in your life. Think about what would happen in your life if your spirit, your mind, your body, your finances were all restored to what they should have been, if only....... Now you are getting a small idea of what God has for you.
The next part of the verse is "he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake". Notice that He is not telling you to GO in the paths alone. He LEADS us in that path. It is such a comfort to know that God is not throwing us onto the path and saying to us 'go on. Get on that path and walk the straight and narrow. And when you mess up, I will lower the boom.' No, no, no. He also tells us that the path we are on is the path of righteousness. What does that mean? Too many people think that they have to work at being righteous. Without God, this is impossible. Righteousness is a GIFT of God. He gives it to you when you become His child by asking forgiveness for your sins and then asking Jesus into your heart. But what does 'righteousness' mean? It means to be walking in uprightness and right standing with God. This is not something you can earn. It is a gift. I can not stress this enough. Again, this is a good time to stop and think about what this word means to God.
A good picture of righteousness, as God see it, is the story of Abraham. More than once in the bible, it tells us that God counted Abraham as righteous. Did Abraham sin? Of course he did. But God saw him in a different Light than we see ourselves. Study how God treated Abraham. This is our heritage. Later, it tells us that if we are Abraham's seed then we are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus!!! (Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29)
Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."
Romans 4:3, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."
Romans 1:17, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Jesus talked about it too, mentioning it many times.
Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
God is telling us that if we will let the Shepherd lead us, then we will walk in the path He has chosen for us, He restores us even in the midst of trouble. But how in the world do I do that, you enquire? Ask Jesus into your heart. Put all your care on Him, for He cares for you. Talk to God each day, asking Him about everything. Read your bible, study, and think on the scriptures you read. Does this bring on righteousness? No, that was a free gift you got when you asked Jesus into your life. But now, when you start seeing what God is teaching you, the scriptures become seeds that are planted into your heart. When you begin to think about them, talk to God. Soon you will see things that God has been telling you for years. It will be brand new to you but it will burst into your heart like fireworks on the 4th of July. Continue to read and think about it. The Word of God works like that seed. It germinates and grows. It continues to grow as long as you 'feed and water' it.
One warning for you. Do not stop with just the verses we have given you here. Check out what ALL the scriptures tell you about that word. Do NOT take our word for what we tell you. Go to your bible and prove it out. Let each scripture be a witness to the others. Please do not take any preacher's or teacher's word for it without checking it.
The question is, do you know Jesus? Is He your Savior and Master? Is He your Lord, your Shepherd? Because if He is not, then it is impossible to walk that path no matter what you do. But you can be on that path. You can decide that right now if you like. Or perhaps you are just not living your life right. Perhaps you need to now rededicate your life to the Lord Jesus. Whatever your situation, it is time. You are not here on this page by accident. God brought you here for a reason. Today is your day!!! Come to Jesus. He is waiting for you to talk to Him.
Click here for verse 2 of the study on Psalm 23.
Click here for verse 4 of the study of Psalm 23.