“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.”
Psalms 23:4 NKJV
Aroma Bible Notes- my initial, brief thoughts about the #votd
From the Hebrew word “gam” often rendered “Also”. In the previous verses of Psalm 23, David wrote of God leading him in the pleasant, fertile places. He then remembers the other places the Lord has been with him. Not the sunny, grassy riverside but a darker place on our journey.
though I walk – we are always walking somewhere, on a continual journey, with God, toward the destiny he has for us
we are walking through, we won’t stay there, as my pastor reminds us
dark, deep, foreboding, feels far from God and his heavens, his hills of help, his meeting mountain tops, the warmth and light of his love and guidance.
of the shadow of death-
that shadow of our biggest enemy, death, seems to loom over us in the valley. Jesus is life but he seems overshadowed when we are walking in the valley and fail to look up.
This is the situation as we feel it, experience it. So now what? A radical decision. A choice is made.
I will fear no evil- there is evil in the valley- temptation, despair, hopelessness.
On what basis is the choice made- My strength, my abilities, my knowledge?
No. Only because of the One who will never leave you or forsake you.
For You are with me
Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is not only with you but is actively caring for you. There is a cost to being a Good Shepherd. Jesus paid the cost with his life as he said he would.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The prophet Micah prays for his people like this-
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. (Micah 7:14)
Being in the grasp of the heavenly rod and staff is the best place. No man can snatch us out of the hand of God. (John 10:28)
Bible hub commentaries
Cyril: “Christ feedeth His own with a rod, guiding them gently, and repressing by gentle fears the tendency of believers to listlessness. He bruiseth as with a rod of Iron, not them, but the rebellious disobedient and proud, who receive not the faith; believers He instructs and forms tenderly, feeds them among the lilies Sol 6:3, and leads them into good pastures and rich places, namely the divinely-inspired Scriptures, making the hidden things thereof clear through the Spirit to those of understanding