The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
(23:1) The word used for Lord in verse one is “Yahweh.” It means “life-giver,” “creator,” or “the one who is.” David the psalmist expresses his total dependence on Yahweh to provide to the point that he, David, will “not want.” This verse does not give any other reason for David’s confidence other than the lone fact that Yahweh is his shepherd. A shepherd is one who guides, protects and raises sheep from infancy to maturity.
(23:2) The shepherd leads David to “green pastures.” This phrase is a description of a pasture or a dwelling place. Basically it is a place of rest and peace. David goes onto say that the shepherd leads him to “still waters.” It is common knowledge among shepherds that unless your sheep are brought before quiet, calm waters, they will not drink. David is saying that God will lead him to a place of rest where he can be rejuvenated and refreshed.
(23:3) The shepherd is said to “restore” David’s soul. The basic meaning of the word, “restore” is movement back to the point of departure. There were many times in David’s life that he strayed away from the Lord's commands. David is saying that God will bring his soul back when it strays away from God's plan. David also says that God will lead him in the “paths of righteousness.” Some other descriptions of the word, “righteousness” includes justness, honesty, and integrity. David says that God, after restoring his soul, will lead David to walk in justice, honesty and integrity.
How are you to follow the shepherd's lead today? What does it mean for God to restore your soul?