The Valley of the Shadow of Death


From Pastor’s Desk: 8-9-15

Psalm 23:4 (NIV) 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.

***

Adam Clarke says of “the valley of the shadow of death”: “The reference is still to the shepherd. Though I, as one of the flock, should walk through the most dismal valley, in the dead of the night, exposed to pitfalls precipices, devouring beats, etc., I should fear no evil under the guidance and protection of such a Shepherd. He knows all the passes, dangerous defiles, hidden pits, and abrupt precipices in the way; and he will guide me around, about, and through them.”

He then references to Matthew 4:16 and comments, “A shadow is that darkness cast upon a place by a body raised between it and the light or sun. Death is here represented as standing between the land above mentioned, and light of life, or Sun of righteousness, in consequence of which, all the inhabitants were, involved in a continual cloud of intellectual darkness, misery, and sin. The heavenly sun was continually eclipsed to them, till this glorious time, when Jesus Christ, the true light, shone forth in the beauty of holiness and truth.”

***

The horribleness of those dark, sinister, lonely, and seemingly impassable, insurmountable, and stifling times we go through are conquerable by the knowledge that He is with us and will never leave us alone. The fearful places, times, and situation we encounter in life that so often overwhelm need not be so because of that promise. The Chief Shepherd’s rod and staff gives constant protection through it all.

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