Series: The Good Shepherd
Psalm 23 - Verse 4
May 02, 2021 | Mike Solorio
PSALM 23 (v.4)
Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
There are many things worthy of fear in this world…
(v.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.
"THROUGH" How thankful we should be for this word! The valley of death is not our stopping place, it's not our final destination. It is a traveling place, a journey.
Matthew Henry wrote about the valley of death, "the saints of God will not get lost in it but will come out safely."
Isaiah 43:2 (ESV) - “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
The terms rod and staff are synonymous and testify to the Lord’s direction and correction of the sheep.
Rod – “is used metaphorically of the Lord’s protection of his servant as he walks in paths of righteousness”. It has the sense of correction and alludes to being ‘guided in paths of righteousness’ (v3).
Staff – a “stick branch of a tree, with many uses, including herding, punishing by striking”.
It's also important to notice the change in personal pronoun. In verses 2 and 3, David speaks about his shepherd (notice how he uses "He" four times in these 2 verses). But when he comes to the valley of death, David drops the ‘he’ in favor of ‘you’ and ‘your’.
When i think about this verse, I think about His PRESENCE
Jesus, our shepherd cares for us by leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, and along the paths of righteousness.
In the NT, theres a story thats found in Luke 24. We know it as The Road to Emmaus...
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
Hope is a resource.
"...I will fear no evil; For You are with me"
The reason we can fear no evil is because He is with us. His presence is His provision!
The apostle Paul wrote: "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything [ALL things] through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT)
"Your rod and your staff they comfort me." The staff was also used to reach the sheep that were headed in the wrong direction and away from the shepherd.
Jesus can reach beneath the sorrowful situation, beneath negative emotional states, beneath scar tissue from past wounds and beyond dead dreams!
He chases down Cleo and the other disciple to let them know, "Even when you're going the wrong way, you're never beyond my reach!" God's grace will chase you down!