Sunday, 12th May 2019
Ps Kit Ho
“He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
A HUMBLE TEACHABLE SPIRIT
Why does the soul of a sheep need to be restored?
1. Stressed, either it is frightened, scared, hurt, unable to relax to eat grass
2. Too obsessed with the grass it is eating that it ignores the shepherd
How does a Shepherd restore the soul of a sheep?
1. Gently call to the sheep by its name
2. Pay attention to its need, and comfort it
3. Bring it to a gentle bath near a quiet stream
4. Heal the sick, bind the broken leg, strengthen the weak
So that the sheep would trust, respond to the shepherd’s call and follow him. We are indebted to the personal time our pastors give to us, show us understanding and give us directions, from God’s point of view. If they can touch our heart and meet our need, we will follow them better.
But there are times we depend on our own judgement; we don’t have a humble spirit. A person who can be led, must first have a teachable heart. Not that we do not know the lesson but we just don’t want to follow. We try to ignore what we hear, or think that we have a better idea of doing things, understanding better the situation. But we don’t see the big picture that God has for our life. We think we have better plans, but no one really knows for sure what would happen tomorrow.
A FEARLESSNESS HEART
“Even 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.” (Psalm 23:4)
Do we have fear? Oh yes we do, a lot of them are imaginative, only a few of them are real. Some of us would put fear, hesitation, in our conversation, I am afraid this might happen. Negative feelings, hurdle ideas will pre-occupy us, especially when we are at the verge of doing something new, like taking public exams, applying working visa, getting married, or a new job, and we have many calculations before we jump into action. Or when we face loss, like loss of a job, loss of loved ones, loss of working ability. Then we do not know how to face tomorrow.
Fear comes to us when we are kids, with parents absent in our lives. There are many things we dare not to try, if our parents are not around, but we will act when we feel the security and support our parents gave us. When we are alone, when our parents are in fighting relations and we do not have that sense of security, we feel the burden of doing things ourselves, and we do not know what would happen next, so fear came in.
Here in the Psalm, a situation comes in when the sheep have to go through the valley of the shadow of death. It is a dark valley, with many imagined attacks and adjustment, you might even fall off a cliff when you bump into the other sheep over a narrow path. But do remember the sheep were led into the valley by the shepherd, it is for His name’s sake that he would do so, not to hurt the sheep, but to keep them strong, to train their sense of trust, focus and following, and bring them to new places, which they must go through the valleys.
But for the inexperienced sheep, it says it does not fear. Why, for “you are with me”. This is the first time when the pronoun changes in the Psalm, before the psalmist uses “He”, “He leads me beside still water” “He restores my soul” But now the pronoun is changed to 2nd person, “You are with me. Your rod and your staff”Is there difference between the use of 2nd and 3rd pronoun? Which is closer? Right, the 2nd pronoun. When does it happen? In the valley of the shadow of death. When we feel we are most afraid, our shepherd is most far away, actually he is not. It is the moment he is closest. He knows each sheep, and its reaction, its situation. But as a sheep in the dark valley, in its initial adjustment, it cannot put out such trust. He was afraid, until he gets used to, he trusts the shepherd is closer than what it appears to his sight, he is closer than the darkness which surrounds him.
Yes, he may not be able to see the figure of his dear shepherd, but he feels his presence, through his staff, and rod, that comforts him. He is our God and He will always be there for us!