Last week, I wrote that I have been preaching through the 23rd Psalm. I would like for you to consider an idea from that Psalm that remains a powerful image in my mind.
In Psalm 23:3 David writes, “He restores my soul.” Consider the words found in that one sentence. The “he” and “my” are simple enough. David gives full credit to God for all that God did. God was the giver, David was the recipient. That’s easy enough.
The other two words, and how they are used in the Bible, fascinate me. Let’s first talk about “soul.” We often talk about the soul as if it were something completely detached from the body. But the Bible has a unique way of viewing this word. Genesis 2:7 says, “God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul.” In other words, you do not so much have a soul as you are a soul. So when David says, “You restore my soul,” he is in fact saying, “You restore me.” God was doing something special in David’s life personally.
But it is the other word that really captures my attention. What does it mean “to restore” one’s soul? In the Hebrew language, the word literally means, “to cause something to turn.” The word sometimes is translated as to convert or repent. The central idea of the word is a complete turnaround. David says that God restores our souls by turning us back to himself.
When I preached this sermon, I received some help from a friend who restores old cars. He sent me two pictures of the same car, a 1968 Camaro. The first picture showed the car when it was brought to him. It was completely unrecognizable. Not only did I not realize it was a Camaro, I could barely tell that it was a car! But the next picture showed in its final restored condition. What a car! When restored to its original condition, it was a thing of beauty.
That’s the kind of thing that God does for the human soul. He takes us when we are beaten up and beaten down, and he returns us to our intended purpose. He remakes us to become what he created us to be. He restores us.
And here is something very interesting. That unrestored Camaro cost about $3,500, which is more than it cost in 1969. In other words, it had value even unrestored. But once restored, it could sell for up to $60,000, so the value multiplies dramatically.
And so it is with the soul restored by God. A human being is valuable, no matter the condition. But when we are restored by the Lord, it is a beautiful picture.
I believe he waits to restore you as well. Would you allow the Lord to restore you to the condition for which you were made?