Psalms 23:4
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

So far in our study, we have noticed that God is interested in us walking in His path, enjoying His peace and rest, and He is the Leader and provider of that rest and peace. Did you notice that all He talks about in the first three verses is peace, rest, and the fact that the Lord is the Shepherd. Please take a moment to think about this before going on to the next verse because the theme has not changed at all here.

Now lets begin talking about the next verse. He says "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death". First, its important to notice a few things. The words 'yea, though' mean 'even though' or you could say 'despite the fact that' and it would be accurate as well. Then it says 'I walk through the valley of the shadow of death'. Did you see that you have an assurance right away at the beginning of the verse? It says 'even though'. The assurance here is that no matter what I may be facing, I can still have that peace that I saw in the first three verses. And I really do need that assurance if Im going to walk through a valley of death, right? But it doesnt say that, does it? It says 'walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death'. Did a shadow ever hurt anyone? So many folks are running from shadows. If only we could grasp what the Lord is trying to get across to us. Take another look at the verse. It also says that we are walking THROUGH this valley. We arent setting up camp. We arent building a house. We arent even visiting a relative. We are walking through the shadows in this place!

This reminds me of when I was a kid trying to go to sleep in my bedroom in the dark. There were shadows everywhere. Some even looked like monsters. I looked under the bed for the dragons and ghosts that might just leap out and get me. But when I was really scared, I would call out to my parents and they would come and turn on the light. What happened? The shadow monsters disappeared!! There were no dragons, no ghosts under the bed. But the best part was that they were reassuring me that I was in no danger and that they were right in the next room if I needed them. God would like us to know that He is even closer than that! He is right here with you right now watching out for you, taking care of you. Not only that but He is turning on the Light for you, as well. When you seek God first (Matt. 6:33), He gives us the assurance that you will find Him.

Now how is God showing us that He is there with us? Take a look at more of the verse. "I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Now how in the world can the author say that they will fear NO evil? Because he (David) had the assurance that God was with him, no matter what. Over and over in scriptures, God tells us 'Fear not'. (examples: Gen. 15:1, Gen. 21:17, Gen. 26:14, Exodus 20:20, Deut. 1:21, Joshua 1:8, I Kings 17:13, Isa. 41:13, Matt. 1:20, Luke 1:30, Luke 2:10, Acts 27:24. There are 63 verses in the bible using just the words 'Fear not'. I gave you a few.) See? The Lord is with him and he knows it. He says 'for thou art with me'. His comfort, rest, and peace is in God, that He is walking with him all the way THROUGH the valley of the shadows. Then too, we are told that we have not been given THE spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."). Its very important to see that God is not interested in having you in fear for any reason. In fact, He is quite clear that He does not want fear to be part of your life at all. What comfort!!!

Yes, we brought up the word comfort. The next part of the verse reads "thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." How on earth could a rod and staff do that? Because the rod is used for protection or defense and the staff is for guidance. If we have Gods rod and staff, then it follows that we would be able to use those items. How do we do that? We seek God first. He provides protection, peace, rest. It is what He has been saying throughout the Psalm so far. He hasnt let us down. He hasnt run away from us. He is right there with us, helping us THROUGH the situation, the shadow of death. Or you could say that He is giving us the Light to go through the situation. What an AWESOME God He is!!!!! What a wonderful Jesus, Who is the Shepherd that leads us.

If you have gotten this far and still have not felt the need to give yourself to the Lord Jesus, please think about this. Throughout this Psalm, the Lord is telling us that He is giving us comfort, rest, peace. He is NOT giving us fear. If you are gripped with fear, feel like you are living under a dark cloud, please consider talking to Jesus today. Also, please remember that you are not here, on this page, by accident. The Lord has drawn you here. He has a plan for your life. Something so wonderful that you can not possibly think how wonderful it could be. But if you havent yet given your life to Jesus, He does not have the authority to give that plan to you. Dont allow another day to go by without seeking God.

If you need prayer, please email us. We will pray with you. Some of the other pages of the study have the prayer of salvation on them. If you have not given your life to Jesus or if you are not where you should be in Jesus, please take the time now to pray that prayer. It isnt for us, its for YOU.

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