A year or so ago my wife found a piece of furniture that was for free. Someone just wanted to get it out of their house. It was a chest of drawers that was very old and scuffed up. We needed something to use as an entertainment center. So, I took out a couple of the drawers and turned them into shelves. Then I drilled holes in the back to feed the cords through for our various devices. My wife sanded the whole thing down and stained it. What was an old beat up chest of drawers is now a nice entertainment center that looks brand new. Perhaps you have restored a piece of furniture and you understand the process and the work that is involved. You also understand the beauty that can come from something that had been misused or deteriorated. Psalm 23:3 says that Jesus, our shepherd, restores our soul. To restore is to bring something back to its original state or purpose. It is to take something that has deteriorated and bring it back to usefulness. As we consider what the Psalmist meant by the shepherd restoring his soul, there are several things we need to understand.
God’s original purpose and plan. Look at Genesis 1:26-31. God’s purpose for mankind is that we would live in perfect harmony and communion with Him. He designed us to work and have dominion over all of creation. Our original purpose was to glorify God through serving as caretaker over God’s creation. God created a beautiful and perfect paradise for man to live in. Mankind was to live in continual and perfect communion with God.
Man’s big mistake. Read Genesis 3:1-7 and Romans 5:12-14. In the scope of God’s sovereignty and character, and as a demonstration of His love; God gifted man with free will. He provided mankind with the opportunity to make choices. To test man’s love for God, He placed a tree in the Garden that God forbade them from eating of its fruit. Unfortunately, man could not resist, and they fell into disobedience. This one act of rebellion put the entire world on a downward spiral of sin and depravity. Sin separates us from God and keeps us from being what God created us to be. In order to fix this problem, man must be restored.
Jesus came to restore us to a right relationship with God. The Psalmist recognized that he could not restore himself. The Lord is the one who restores the soul. When it comes to our salvation, we must recognize the fact that God took the initiative. He gave us Jesus. He came to us. Left in our depravity we would never go to Jesus. Therefore, in order to secure our salvation, Jesus came to us. In restoring our soul there are two basic things that Jesus has done for us. (1) Reconciliation. By His death on the cross, Jesus reconciles us to God. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. Here we learn that by Jesus Christ we are reconciled to God. To be reconciled is to be restored to a right relationship. Our sin separates us from God. However, through Jesus our relationship with God is restored. (2) Propitiation. 1 John 2:2 says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Propitiation refers to justice being satisfied. Through the blood of Jesus, the righteous judgement of God on sin is satisfied. When we place our faith in Jesus, we are given mercy. We are saved from the wrath of God.
We must choose to be restored. Only Jesus, our Shepherd, can restore our soul. He has already done all that needs to be done to restore our soul. However, we must accept what Jesus did for us on the cross and, by faith, receive His gift of grace. This restoration of the soul is given in two ways. (1) It is available to the unbeliever. If you have never trusted in Jesus as your Savior, you must understand that salvation is available for you. Jesus has done all that must be done for you to be saved from the wrath that sin brings, and He has done all that must be done to reconcile you to God. However, you must respond in faith. You must make a conscience decision to believe on the Lord Jesus. (2) It is available to the believer. There are times in the life of a Christian that we will fall in sin. There are times when are relationship with God is hindered and strained because of sin in our life. This restoration is also available to the believer who has sinned or has become spiritual complacent. Jesus, your Shepherd, can restore you. He can bring you back to that place when you were engaged and excited about the things of God. To be restored, you must go to Jesus, repent of your sin, and allow Him to work in you to get you back on track.
Do you need to be restored? Is your relationship with God not what it used to be? Or, do you even have a relationship with God? Go to the Shepherd. Trust in Jesus today and He will restore your soul.