A couple of weeks ago, we started a short sermon series on Psalm 23 titled The Good Shepherd. Psalm 23 is a beautiful Psalm that gives the reader an insight into God’s love and care for those who trust in Him. It depicts God as a Good Shepherd who leads, guides and cares for His children. It reinforces the fact that God can be depended upon despite our circumstances or our inadequacies.
In the Psalm, David said, “He [the Lord] restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”.
In my early Christian years, I had often thought of righteousness as something to pursue with a greater responsibility on my part. It was a choice between choosing the right thing to do over the wrong; and while there is some truth in this idea of righteousness, David talks about a righteousness that is God empowered for those who trust and believe Him. This is a righteousness that isn’t burdensome to attain, but one that is empowered by the Spirit of God through faith.
Why is God so concerned about our righteousness? David’s answer is that, ‘He does it for His name’s sake’. In other words, He does it to bring honour to His name. How is that so? Because the righteousness of God as led by His Spirit makes us a reflection of Him in this fallen world. It makes us people of love, mercy, compassion, justice (etc.) which then speaks of His nature and enables us to bring transformation in this world. It also shows that God isn’t some distant and inconsiderate God who heaps up many rules for us to live by, but rather, a loving Father who understands our weaknesses and hence leads us in the paths of righteousness.
May the Good Shepherd give you rest from your tiresome striving for righteousness, by leading you in His desirable and pleasant paths today.