He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23.3
He (the Shepherd) restoreth my soul. The verb restoreth is incomplete, and implies the continual action and work of restoration. Since the soul (The innermost person, the one behind the mask, who is only known to self and God. The person that God sees, because He knows us perfectly.) requires constant restoration and renewing, someone must be responsible. We are certainly not capable of restoring ourselves. But the Creator (Shepherd) is the perfect candidate for the job. Move forward to John 14, Jesus is the one who can offer true peace, and the only One who can offer rest to a weary soul. We are broken down by the cares of this world, we are troubled by the sin and the suffering that we experience because of sin. On occasion we live in fear and anxiety, we need restoration. It is interesting to note, in the preceding verse (Psalm 23.2) David describes a place of calmness, peace, and safety. Ultimately, the peace and calmness that we experience from Jesus leads to the restoration of our souls. He is the restoration. Without Jesus there is constant fear and anxiety, about something, on this point I am a dogmatist.
He leads me in the right way. Similar to the verb restoreth, leadeth is also an incomplete and continual action. If you scroll back up and look at the picture you can see a contrast of leadership in the right direction. I would not want to be the shepherd who is known for allowing my sheep to lie down in the middle of the road. I would also avoid the reputation of the hireling who flees for his life and leaves the sheep to the hungry wolf (John 10). David had no need for concern, the righteous Shepherd cannot lead contrary to His character. The Shepherd maintains righteousness; He defines righteousness. In worship David is making a statement (I think.), what readers should understand is this, the righteousness (reputation) of the Shepherd is not in question. The Lords ability to lead in the right direction is clear. He cannot waiver from who He is. However, the follower lacks the ability to attain righteousness within himself, necessitating a leader. David needed someone who could teach righteousness. The Shepherd teaches righteousness perfectly. The Lord’s reputation is dependent upon His consistent leadership, a reputation He fulfills perfectly. When David stepped off the right path (in his adultery with Bathsheba) He did not tarnish the Lord’s reputation. He proved that when you stop following the righteous Shepherd, you stop practicing righteousness, a testimony to the perfect leadership of our Lord. Jesus will never lead us off the paths of righteousness, it’s what He does, who He is. We need someone who can transfer righteousness, He does!