After exalting God’s Word at length, David concludes Psalm 119 with this verse: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant” (verse 176).
David is saying, in essence, “Please, Lord, seek me out, the way a shepherd searches for a lost sheep. In spite of all my biblical knowledge, preaching, and long history with you, somehow I’ve strayed from your love. I’ve lost the sense of rest I once had in you. All my plans have failed. And now I realize I’m totally helpless. Come to me, Father. Seek me out in this awful, dry place. I can’t find you on my own. You must find me. I still believe your Word is true.”
David knew he’d strayed from God’s rest. He knew the Lord’s love should have been imprinted on his heart during his previous crises. But now, once again, he had forgotten about God’s love for him. So he cried out to the Lord, begging him to seek out his lost servant.
Now the shepherd had come after David again. And as David heard his name called, his heart was comforted. He realized, “My shepherd knows me by name.” David found himself being led down the hill into the green valley. And once he reached the green pasture below, Jehovah Rohi (the Lord my Shepherd) said to him, “Lie down now. Go to sleep, and rest your weary soul. Don’t worry—I’ll be at work, taking care of everything.”
It’s important to note here that David’s circumstances hadn’t changed. In fact, Scripture says the enemies who troubled David had increased (Psalm 3:1). But David had been restored to God’s love. Now he could say, “Salvation (deliverance) belongeth to the Lord” (3:8). He testified, “No more self-made plans. No more sleepless nights, trying to work things out. I eagerly enter into my shepherd’s love. I welcome his open arms toward me. And I’m going to lie down in his rest. I am going to sleep peacefully in his unconditional love for me.”