Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
King David was a man that had experienced many evils in his life. Although a great warrior, he had been misunderstood, maligned, and even hunted like a dog. He knew what trouble was in his life, and often found himself in the “valley,” sometimes not sure he would live another day.
Yet he found great comfort and joy in the Lord during those occasions. He saw no need to fear evil, even when in “the valley of the shadow of death.” He learned not to focus on the “shadows,” but on the living Lord.
Why did he have boldness in times of trouble? He came to understand that: “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” The One Who is my Shepherd, and Whom I follow, will take care of me, David realized. I follow Him closely, and He can take care of any problems I face. No one is greater than my Shepherd!
Believer, when you enter into that valley next time, or face the “shadows,” be sure to look toward Christ to deliver. As we look at His care and power, we can understand that there is no reason to be afraid of “shadows.” The staff is used to guide the sheep, but the rod is for the enemies.
Psalm 23:3 “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
One of the greatest blessings of having a Shepherd like the Lord Jesus Christ is that He is able to put calm into a heart that is troubled. When we get troubled or disturbed, we can go to Him, and He will remedy the problem. He is able to give peace even in the midst of a storm. David, the writer of this Psalm, and of many others, often speaks of the Lord’s ability to calm the soul, such as that of Psalm 42:8: “Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”
Whether the trouble is caused by sin, or hurt from problems in relationships, or anxiety over circumstances, He is able to restore your soul and our faith. The problems need to be brought to Him, or perhaps sin needs to be confessed to Him with a true desire to forsake them, and you will discover that He can quickly bring back the peace of mind and heart. Personally, I find this to be a tremendous blessing.
The last part of this verse gives us the general direction of His leading – it is in “paths of righteousness.” He gives believers peace and joy when they serve Him, that each one might be encouraged to keep on going for Him, to draw closer to Him, and less close to the world.
Psalm 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
Once saved, the child of God has promises from God that He will provide the needs of His own. This Psalm continues to use the illustration of God’s people being sheep who are led by a loving Shepherd.
This verse tells us that God leads His sheep to “green pastures,” which simply refers to a place of sufficiency. Plenty of grass for them to eat. Our shepherd is concerned that we get enough to eat. It may not mean steak everyday, but we will have what we need.
This Bible verse also tells us that He will lead us beside “still waters.” This is a reference to the fact that literal sheep are afraid of rapidly moving water. They need to be able to drink out of still water, where they will have calmness of mind and heart. Christ the Shepherd does the leading to the things we need, we just need to be sure that we are following closely.
Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
There is no doubt that Psalm 23 is certainly one of the most widely known chapters in the Bible. It seems like a good chapter to start a series of daily devotionals with. Believers all over the world find great comfort in its verses. If you are a believer, it can help you find comfort today, because it declares His care for you.
The key to the comfort that God provides is found in the first part of the verse – “The Lord is my Shepherd.” If this part of the verse is not true, then the last part does not apply. You must be one of God’s children for this to apply.
If you are following where Christ leads you, and are obeying Him, then you can be sure that the provision and comfort will follow. He is a good and faithful Shepherd to His sheep. It may not always come when you want, but it will come. Keep on trusting Him for grace and glory, and you can be sure that He will continue to take care of your needs – “I shall not want.” Notice that the promise is for needs, and not necessarily for things you want. Be sure to thank Him for His provision each day, which includes peace of heart and mind, as well as physical blessings.
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