I have been taking you through a study of Psalm 23. Last week we looked at verses one and two, yesterday verse 3. Today we are looking at the first part of verse 4. There is a lot in verse 4 so we will save the second half for next week.
Let’s take a look…
‘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.’
Here the psalm suddenly starts to get dark. It has been all green pastures and still waters up until now. This is a picture of the journey of life – it’s not always mountaintops, life includes dark valleys. The question is: are we following the shepherd (God) in both?
Unlike green pastures, a valley is hedged in. You feel surrounded. How maybe some of you are feeling now.
BUT…notice that David says, we WALK THROUGH the valley. We don’t camp in the valley. We walk through it and out of it with our eyes on our shepherd.
‘Shadow of death’ – It isn’t necessarily death itself we are walking through; it is just the shadow of death. Death is now just a shadow, it lacks substance. It has lost its power through Jesus. A shadow of a dog cannot bite, a shadow of a sword cannot kill, and a shadow of death cannot destroy.
‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me’ – as long as you are aware that your shepherd is with you, and you are walking in His presence, this knowledge should eliminate fear from your life.
I recently went on a walk with a dog and its owner. I love dogs, so I was watching this dog’s behaviour very closely. As the master and the dog were walking, every five seconds or so the dog would glance up at the face of the master – checking for direction or instruction. He would look forward, then back up at the master’s face, over and over. The dog was in tune with itsowner. Ready and waiting to do whatever he said.
What a picture of how we are to walk with our shepherd. Walking closely, watching closely, in tune to His instruction and direction. He leads, we follow, and together we walk through both the mountain tops and the valleys.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.