“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation….”
King James Version
The Redeemer As a Restorer
“The house of my soul is too small for You to come to it. May it be enlarged by You. It is in ruins, restore it.”
“Restore” – To bring back to an original state. To bring back into existence and use.
“Christ is born so that by His birth He might restore our nature. He became a child, was fed and grew so that He might bring in the one perfect age to remain forever as He created it. He holds mankind up so that they may no longer fall. The creature He formed of earth He now makes heavenly.”
Italian Bishop and Preacher
“(Jesus’) abasement is our glory. What He is, while appearing in the flesh, that we in turn have become: restored to God.”
Hilary of Poitiers
You and I are redeemed. And as in the life of Ruth, our “Redeemer” brings restoration to our lives.
Our text today is from Psalm 51, written by King David after his fall! And boy did he fall big! When I review David’s life, I wonder if any political consultant would want a candidate like David. He had multiple wives. Incest in his family. Rebellion of his children. And then add to that his own sin of adultery and murder.
Oh, yes! What a winning record! But while in man’s eyes David appeared flawed and foul -- unfit for leadership, in God’s eyes David’s messed-up life had potential. Why? Because God looks at you and me through restorative eyes. God sees you and me not as we are but as we can be. And in a Psalm of contrition, David told God he longed for Him to “restore,” in David’s life the joy of salvation. We find the same thing happened when Ruth, a woman from Moab was restored to a new life in Israel.
I went to my Hebrew dictionary because I wanted to understand why David would use the word “restore” in Psalm 51. Guess what – the Hebrew definition of the word holds the answer, for this word means “turn back” and carries with it the idea of returning to the “starting point.” Here’s another way the Hebrew translation reads: “To get yourself back again.”
David asked God in Psalm 51, to turn back the clock to a time when his heart was pure and steadfast before God. He looked at God and said, “I want things like they used to be between us. I want the young David back. The David you chose and anointed.”
I can only imagine David, as he penned the words in Psalm 51, thought back on the days when as a young man he cared for his father’s sheep on the hills. Out under the blue sky with a soft breeze passing through the leaves of the trees, he began to sing as he played on his harp:
“The Lord is my shepherd
He (God) restoreth my soul.”
This was a time in David’s life when his focus and aim was directed to his Heavenly Father. David did not have a divided heart. His loyalty was to God. Yet after his disastrous affair with Bathsheba, upon reflection, he was reminded of those days in the past when his walk with God was on track. And now in a pit of despair, he longed to be restored into the relationship he once enjoyed.
Praise God! When David came to his Heavenly Father asking for “restoration” God gladly accepted him back.
Several years ago, after my grandmother died, a family member found two old chairs that were from the dining room set she had gotten when she and my grandfather were medical missionaries in Mexico. I’m a very sentimental type so I asked to keep the chairs. They were beat up and damaged and looked like junk. Everybody in the family thought I was goofy for even keeping them. But one day, someone told me about a man who restored old furniture. I took the two chairs to him and asked what he thought he could do with them. “Let me surprise you,” he said as he grinned.
A month later I picked up my two treasured chairs. Now, my husband and I use them everyday in our kitchen. Everyone who sees the chairs thinks they are brand new. And I’m constantly told how beautiful they are. They are the focal point of the kitchen. All because the hands of the master restored them, not only to their original look, but even better than they appeared in the first place. This is what God, our “restorer” promises He’ll do for you and me.
A Meditation on the Twenty-third Psalm
“Lord, you are:
A companion to my spirit—
Father and Shepherd of a life;
Perplexing at times for me.
Designing a purpose for me.
Fashioned in you,
I am in need of nothing
But the riches coming from
The depths of your love.
Lord, you are my Shepherd.
May your hands calm my rough waters
When I am tossed by swift currents
May my soul be restored,
Reconciled with body,
Delighting in its abode.
May the focus of my eyes stay fixed
Upon images of your face in all of
Lord, you are my shepherd.
Anoint my head with your oil;
Bathe me with the sweet perfume
Of your Word.
Penetrate my spirit with your truths,
That I may reflect such
To a hungry world.
Fill my cup overflowing
With your presence,
That my heart may sing in jubilation
Songs of your unceasing love.
Lord, you are my Shepherd,
The bosom of your temple
Will be my dwelling place forever.
Lord, my Shepherd,
Blest am I, your sheep!”
Ms. Joanne Starks
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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