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Devotional The 23rd Psalm vs. 3
Psalm 23:1, 2 It said, “The Lord is my Shepherd. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Verse 3 “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Perhaps the best shepherd passage in the Old Testament is Ezekiel 34.
Ezekiel 34:11 the Lord GOD says, “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out .“
Vs. 14 “I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down.”
In Ezekiel 34 we hear the Lord condemning the shepherds of Israel. Part of their guilt is that they have not brought back the sheep that have strayed (v. 4). When the Lord later in the passage states that He Himself will be their shepherd.
Sheep eat, sleep, lay peacefully and stray. They walk around. It is the task of the shepherd to bring them back. In Psalm we see the Shepherd, active, going after those sheep that have gone astray bringing them back to the flock. We are comforted knowing that our GOOD SHEPHERD will not allow us to stray too far. He will search us out and bring us back to Him.
To restore my soul, my nephesh. Nephesh is the Hebrew word meaning a soul, a living being, life.
To restore my nephesh means that God seeks to bring us back to Him, and to restore our living being, to restore our life. God not only brings us back from straying but He gives life to those who are dead. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and our Good Shepherd gives us new life. The sheep who become weak, hurt and sick the Good Shepherd restores them to health.
Ezekiel 34:16 God says, “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick…”
He restores us to full life so that we can stand, we can walk, we can have fullness. He restores us to live under His care. He restores us so that we can follow after Him. And he makes us hunger for more of Him. He feeds that hunger. He quenches our thirst. Our nephesh is restored day by day by walking, thirsting after Him.
Thank you Lord for being my Shepherd who gives me life, who heals all my diseases, who raises me up, who fills me with your goodness. Thank you Lord for restoring my nephesh. Every day walking with you leads me in a path that is a delight to my soul. Amen!