1 ¶ O Israel, return to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; 2 Take words with you, And return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. 3 Assyria shall not save us, We will not ride on horses, Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.” 4 ¶ “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, And lengthen his roots like Lebanon. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, And lengthen his roots like Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread; His beauty shall be like an olive tree, And his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; They shall be revived like grain, And grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
The word restoration simply means to bring back to the original condition or state; to bring something back into existence. Restoration is a word that is similar in meaning to revival and resuscitation especially in spiritual matters. You cannot talk about restoration if nothing is wrong.
The need for restoration is a proof that an accident has occurred.
In our text; verse one:
1 ¶ O Israel, return to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity
The reason why Israel needed restoration here was because “the people as a nation have “stumbled”.
What exactly was the cause of their stumble? Their iniquity!
In Psalm 51:11-12, David was crying:
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
What necessitated this cry was that David fumbled and stumbled; he was bathed into trouble by Bathsheba.
David understood the consequences of that fumbling. He knew that there is just a havoc which sin will do in his life and that was to make him lose the presence of God; that fumbling will remove him from his place in God and remove God from His place in his life. That was why he cried.
In our spiritual walk, there is a possibility of stumbling. This makes the issue of restoration critical if we will finish well.
David who said “He restoreth my soul” actually started with the issue of “the LORD is my shepherd”.
1.The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Before we proceed to look at “He restoreth my soul” more deeply, let us look at “the LORD is my shepherd first. This is necessary because a man who does not have the LORD as his shepherd cannot look onto Him for restoration at the time of stumbling. If you are alone in the journey of life, if you are not walking in the company of the LORD, you will fall and no help will come your way.
9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.
David did not undertake the journey of life alone; he had a shepherd. David had someone he could cry unto when he stumbled. Do you have someone who you could call unto when you stumble; do you have a shepherd over your soul?
A man who was never standing cannot be talking about restoration. Someone who was never with the Lord can never be talking about revival. Are you at any time standing strong with God?
So the matter of our discussion today is:
You Need A Shepherd
You need a companion in your spiritual journey. You cannot go far without the presence of God.
Isa 40:11 says:
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
From this passage, we see clearly the ministry of the Lord over those who decide to have His presence, His companionship and His shepherding in their journey of life:
- He will feed them
- He will gather them is his arm; He will protect them
- He will carry them in His bosom; He will gently take a very good care of them
- He will lead them; he will give their lives a sure sense of direction.
If the Lord is not your shepherd, you are a free ranger; you are on your own. You have no guide, no companion, no help, and no restorer. You are alone! And the word of God says “…But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up” Ecc 4:10.
That means a lonely life is a cursed life. Any person who claims to be a Christian but who is without the presence of the Lord is a cursed person. Woe unto you when you are alone; woe unto you when your life is destitute of the presence of God. you will fall and have no chance of restoration. Do you carry His presence?
The presence of God is in four levels
- The omnipresence of God. God is everywhere but He does not act everywhere.
- The manifest presence of God; an occasional visitation of God in a place where His name is called.
- the geographical presence of God; a case where God appears at a location and men troop there to meet Him.
- The abiding presence of God. When God now dwells with a man.
It is important for you to have the abiding presence of God.
And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Anyone who desire to carry God must understand that he is seeking to be a temple of God; an abode for God, a place where God can dwell.Such a life must be totally given to God.
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Joseph was an example of a man who carried God and he was ready to defend His presence in His life.
And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand.
“There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
Check your life today and now; is He with you? can you say like David:
Yea, 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 Psa 23:4
Before the Lord will restore you, you have to call Him into His right place in your life. You can do it now.
Today’s Wisdom Nugget
God’s Presence in a man’s life is determined by the man’s readiness to make his life habitable for God. Purity is the first condition for His abiding presence.
Today’s Prayer Pointa
- Bless the Lord for His mercy over your life and family
- Appreciate God for His love and grace through which salvation and restoration are possible
- Father, revive and restore me to my place in your presence in Jesus name
- anything in my life that is removing God’s presence from me, disappear from my life today in Jesus name
- Father, deliver me today from the yoke of rising and falling in Jesus name
- Father, go with me all through the journey of my life in Jesus name
- Father, lead my life to the place of my peace and comfort today in Jesus name
- Father, deliver me from every wrong association and influence today in Jesus name
- My life, rise from mediocrity and possess the grace and power of excellence today in Jesus name
- Father, honour me and make me a man of honour from today in Jesus name
Pray for peace in your community and environment
Pray for your church, your pastor and his family