Psalm 23: The Divine Shepherd, 4of6, Evans Olang

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Psalm 23:4, “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” 

The-Shepherd-sermon

This journey of life calls for nomadic type of people. Nomads are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. We talk about “walking with the Lord”, it calls us to be nomads because the Lord is not stagnant or stationed in one place, neither should we.

In this walk we constantly draw strength from Him. In this journey like the Psalmist, we may “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. Mark that it does not say “walk in” but “walk through” that is, though you may be in peril of death, in the midst of danger, deep as a valley, dark as a shadow, and dreadful; though you are under the arrest of death, and have received the sentence of death within yourself, and have all the reason in the world to look upon yourself as a dying person yet you are at ease fearing no evil for He is with you right where you are. This is one of the greatest comfort a believer can have in the valley of the shadow of death as he goes through it. God spoke to Joshua after the death of Moses saying, “5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you., …9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”, Joshua 1:5,9. If you look at the life of Joshua, it was not a stagnant life, he would have his own experiences in the valley of the shadow of death, he needed God’s assurance.

The shadow may be the terror of the enemy by night, but Someone has said that when there is a shadow there must be light somewhere, Amen. The presence of the Lord (the light) is realized when shadow presents itself. That ought to be our comfort that we have enough proof of His presence. Psalm 94:19, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul”

God took away the sting of death when Christ died on the cross and resurrected. 1Corinthians 15:54-55, “54…written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “ O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”, 1 John 5:12, “He who has the Son has life” even in the valley. This is not a temporary life for believers. Charles Spurgeon said, “Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man’s pathway even for a moment. The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us.”

“…Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”. A great reminder of who is in charge; the one with the rod and staff in His hands. It may not look like it’s much to battle and bring victory. It is not the rod that matters, it is in whose hands it is in that matters. It is not the rod that delivered the Israelites from Egypt, it is God represented in that rod that did. They called it, “…the rod of God in his hand”, Exodus 4:20. Matthew Henry, “The gospel is called the rod of Christ’s strength (Ps. 110:2), and there is enough in that to comfort the saints when they come to die, and underneath them are the everlasting arms.”

The Divine Shepherd is in control right even in the valley. He is everywhere, Psalm 139:1-12, “1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You”, where there is a shadow, be sure light is around the corner. blessings Ev

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