PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Yesterday, we started a three-day review of Psalm 23.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at Psalm 23:4, which says, “Even 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.”
It’s common knowledge that in war, those who have a higher position generally have a better advantage than those who are below.
It’s in the valley that we feel the most vulnerable and at risk.
Yet, we all experience time in the valley.
We all experience the “shadow of death,” and whether that’s literal death, or a figurative one — death of a relationship, marriage, job — those seasons in the valley leave us feeling exposed and at risk of attack.
It’s in the valley where anxiety and fear linger.
Yet David wrote that he wasn’t afraid.
He knew that no matter where the path took him, whether on higher ground or in the valley, God was his friend and walked with him.
God’s words to Joshua were true for David, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
And they are true for us too.
As another psalmist wrote, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
We briefly covered a few things that a shepherd would include on his resume, and the ability to use a rod and staff would certainly be there too.
These are tools a shepherd would use to guide his sheep, but also defend them.
David’s reflection on these tools is reminiscent of God’s promise to guide and protect us.
A promise we can depend on too because we know God has a plan for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
We can take comfort in His guidance and protection, even in the valley.
Today, as you pray, thank God that He is always with us.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you focus on God’s promises of hope and His good plan, even during seasons spent in the valley.