Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me . . .
Though I Walk. The believer walks in the way of God, in the paths of righteousness. On the way to his Heavenly home, he encounters many troublesome obstacles that come in the way as he walks toward his goal. Some of these obstacles may bring the believer to the shadow of death, not death itself, but its shadow, giving the potential of fear on every hand. This idea is taken from the sheep that the shepherd watches as they travel over many sharp rocks and come at different times to the potential of death, as they may fall into a ditch, come to some water where the sheep may drown, or a cliff where the sheep may fall to his death.
Are you willing today to walk in the shadow of death for the Lord? Are you strong enough in your faith that you will face the enemies of the cross? Are you assured that God is with you and that he will lead you all the way to Heaven? That is what this Psalm is about.
Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death. But if the shepherd is doing his job, he will keep the sheep from danger; for, as the sheep approaches the potential of death, the shepherd will take hold of the sheep and lift him above the danger and bring him back onto the solid ground. This, then, becomes only a shadow and not death itself. Believers often fear death, at least the prospect of death's coming by way of some horrible calamity; but we also fear the shadow of death, those times when death seems to be so near as we walk our Christian walk.
Have there come some deep valleys in your life? Do you remember going through them as you walked along the Christian path? Do you know that the Lord is with you there just as he is when you are happy and enjoying the good things of life?
I will Fear No Evil. We are not to fear those times when death is near, whether it be at the end of a gun barrel, as the young lady gave her profession at the point of a gun at Columbine High School, after which the gunman killed her, or as the great martyrs who stood firm in the fires as they testified of their Savior, or those who faced the wild beasts which eventually tore them to shreds. We are to fear neither the Evil One, Satan himself, nor those evils which he can put in our way to try to make us stumble. Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Neither should we be afraid of death, because we know that it is only a channel-way to get to Heaven, a bridge to cross, a river to pass over. It is only a quick change from this life to the next life. 1 Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Thou Art With Me. The Lord, as our Shepherd, is always with us. He promised us that he would never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). He is there to lift us up when we fall, to encourage our weakened and discouraged souls, to teach us of his good doctrines, and to rejoice with us as we receive his blessings with thanksgiving.
We do not need to fear, because the Lord is with us. Just as, when you were a child, your parents gave you great security by their very presence; even so the Lord will give us great security when we know that he is with us. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.