PS.23:3,4 – He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
The Lord is my Shepherd and my best friend. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me besides the still waters of rest. This is the place of renewal and restoration for my soul. Life can be quite exhausting. Walking in this intimate friendship and learning to rest and abide in Him brings me to a place of renewal and restoration. We don’t have to wait until we are in a state of exhaustion to come to these waters of renewal, if the Lord is my Shepherd, renewal becomes my way of life.
The Shepherd leads us into His paths of righteousness. We are no longer walking in lock step with the culture of the world. We have entered into a new way of life, walking in the steps of our Shepherd. Here are some thoughts from the Passion Translation notes on this verse. “Or “circular paths of righteousness.” It is a common trait for sheep on the hillsides of Israel to circle their way up higher. They eventually form a path that keeps leading them higher. This is what David is referring to here. Each step we take following our Shepherd will lead us higher, even though it may seem we are going in circles.” We are walking in this new way of life, this life becomes our testimony or the testimony of Jesus living in us. Our new life is for “His name’s sake”, it is no longer us but Christ living His new life in us.
Even when this path of following Jesus leads us into difficult times, we are not afraid. He is with us when walking into death’s shadows. His rod and His staff remind me of His authority and His protection. Following His leadership is my place of safety and protection. I may not always understand why He leads me in a certain direction, but I trust my friend. Wherever He leads me, He protects and takes care of me. Why Should I fear any kind of evil? If the Lord who died for me is my Shepherd, no enemy can touch me.