T H E K ING ’S BUS INESS
guidance. If left to ourselves, we make very crooked paths but He guides straight on from the pit of sin to the glory of God. “What shall I do,’-’ many are asking, “that I may be sure that I walk in the right path?” Let Him guide you. No need of care, no need of anxiety lest you are going the wrong way, no need of reproach- ings of a morbid conscience, just put your whole life into His hand for Him to lead (cf. Rom. 8:15). He leads a step at a . time; it is far better to have His daily, hourly, momentary guidance than have the way all mapped out. Personal guida'nce is better than a charted course, for we might misread the chart; but He guides, no mis takes now. No other paths so beautiful, : so bright, so delightful as the paths of righteousness (Prov. 3:17). We should note the order of God’s supply of our wants as given in this Psalm: First, rest, then food, then life-giving water, then the in vigorating of our lives. These all pre cede the holy walk. This is the order of experience. There are many who are try ing to walk in paths of righteousness be fore they get the strength for it that comes from finding rest in the Lord and then feed ing on the tender grass of the Word and drinking the living water of the Spirit and being invigorated by the Lord Himself. All such are bound to fail. Note carefully the words, "For His name’s sake.” Not because of any claim the sheep have upon Him but just because of what He Himself is, just because 'of His own sovereign love and Plis covenant with His people does Jehovah do these things. I am glad the Psalmist added these words and that Jehovah’s care of me and provision for me and love to me rests, not on what I am, but on what He is. I am so changeable, He is so changeless. I am not the same for two consecutive minutes, He is the same yesterday, today arid for ever (Heb. 13:8). And He gives rest and food and drink and guidance and reviving and leads in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, because of His own eternal, unchangeable love.
our Shepherd gives us to drink? About this we are not left to speculate. Our Lord Himself has interpreted it; from John 4:14; 7:37-39 we find that the Holy Spirit is the water we drink. Why this~ water is called “waters of rest” appears from Gal. 5:22, 23. And there is guidance too, “He leadeth me.” Not only are the still wa ters there but it is Jehovah Himself who leads me along the bank. The thought of Jehovah’s leading is One of the most precious thoughts of the Psalm, and He leads constantly by “the waters of rest, i. e. the supply of the Spirit is always at hand for a fresh drink. It is to be noted that Jehovah leads, not drives His sheep. Note also in this and the following Verses that there are four experiences into which and in which He leads.' First, By waters of rest; second, In paths of righteousness, i. e. a holy walk; third, Into and through darkness and peril and testing; fourth, Into His own house forever. v. 3. “He restoreith (or, reyiveth ) my soul.” Here we have a fifth want sup plied, i. e. healing or reviving. Sheep grow weary and weak, so do we; but we do 4iot need to remain weary or weak or sickly, there is a Reviver or Invigorator, that is, Jehovah Himself. As the shepherd kneels beside the weary sheep and nurses it back to life and strength, so Jehovah does with us. Most of us can look back to times when we grow cold and our spiritual life waned, and then the gentle Shepherd came and revived us, restored our souls. There is not only life for us, but fulness of life (cf. John 10:10 R. V.). It is by His Word especially that Jehovah restores the soul (Ps. 19:7 R. V.). “He leadeth (or, guideth ) me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.” We have already had . guidance in verse 2, but this is a different guidance. There it was guidance “by the waters of rest.” Here it is guidance in a holy walk. “Paths of righteousness” literally translated would be “paths of straightness.” We will never walk in straight paths without His
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