“The Lord is My Shepherd”
Thoughts on Psalm 23:4 Day 4
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Have you a darkest valley that you are walking through—fire one moment, ice the next? Is your valley personal illness or that of a loved one? Suffering of a beloved friend? Relative? Depression? Loneliness? Approaching death? Children who are lost, wandering in search of meaning? Worry over the evil happening worldwide?
David had such a time. He was pursued by King Saul and by his own son, Absalom, both with the goal of killing him. David had to constantly run, hide in caves, travel from town to town, and run again as he was pursued. His darkest valley is revealed in Psalm 13:1-4 when he felt alone and abandoned by God:
“ O Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever?
How long will You look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!"
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.”
How can David then say, probably toward the end of his reign, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”? HOW? David was now able to look back on his life and recognize the obvious hand God had on him. He had rescued David by His rod of authority and by the crook of His staff as He plucked David from the hands of his enemies, time and time again.
Yes, David now recognized that the hope he displayed at the end of Psalm 13:5-6 was true:
"But I trust in Your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because You have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.”
Though traveling through his darkest valley, David knew in his heart that he could trust God. You have the same Good Shepherd, watching over every moment of your life, using His rod and staff for your welfare if you believe: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 We are not promised a life free of dark valleys; but we are promised that if we believe, those dark times will result in good.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4
Verses: Psalm 3:1-6
(Notice how, when, and why David sleeps!)
“O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
You are my glory, the One who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
and He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you that You are our Father and that even when we cannot feel Your presence while in our darkest valleys, You are there, leading us out of that darkness with Your rod and staff into Your glorious light. Let us join with David and sing, “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.”
Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.