The Valley Of The Shadow

Our God is in the protection business!

Psalm 23
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, 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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

 

This beautiful song, or psalm, about our Jesus is one of my all-time favorites. How Jesus loves and cares for us so tenderly, seeing to our every need.  Isn’t He awesome?

Change Of Focus.

The Psalmist is going along just fine, talking about how “the LORD” is his Shepherd, totally focusing on Jesus.

Then his attention shifts from “The LORD is my Shepherd,” to “Yea, though I walk?”  Do you see it?  It changes from focusing on JESUS to being focused on “ME.”

Thank God, it’s only the “SHADOW” of death and not death itself.  The shadow of a snake never killed anyone. This is a non-fatal trial, usually of my own making.

Whether I am resting in and totally relying on Jesus’ care and provision for me OR taking matters into my own, incapable hands, He will NEVER, EVER leave or forsake me.  The good news is I need not fear any evil for He is with me every step of the way, even if the “valley of the shadow,” is of my own doing.

Does God Punish Us?

“Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.”

This verse used to confuse me. Some well-meaning preacher somewhere along the way mistakenly taught that “the rod” was God punishing me.  Church, our good Daddy doesn’t punish us.  He gently, lovingly guides, directs and lovingly disciplines for our benefit, but He never punishes.  It would be unfair to Jesus Who already bore ALL our punishment on the cross.

Not The Author Of Disease Or Accidents.

The Good Shepherd, Who gave His life for the sheep, is not the Author of sickness, disease or accidents.  He doesn’t give us these things to teach us a lesson as some may have hinted from the pulpit.

Enemies of the sheep, different story. They’re the ones that need to fear!  They’re the ones the shepherd attacked with His rod and staff when they attempted to harm His flock.  That’s why the rod and staff are a comfort!

Oh, yes: our Jesus is always with us, guiding, providing and protecting.  Yes even, and especially, in the Valley of the Shadow.

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