God as He Longs for You to See Him – Part 4
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
One of the incredible blessings of life in our country is that most of us have survived to this point in our lives without the fear of death in any tangible or realistic sense. We are not immune to death, but many of the daily risks to our existence have been largely put to rest. Most of us have ample food, high quality health care, and freedom to live without threat to our safety. And so Covid-19 has brought us face to face with an uncommon enemy: death. We have watched thousands around the globe die from the virus and now we are coerced to deal with a reality to which we are not accustomed.
How do believers in Christ face death? Psalm 23 tells us how. We learn to see God as our Protector and Comforter.
Through verses 1-3, King David tells us about green pastures, still waters, and clear paths. And then, the words of verse 4 strike the first notes of darkness and dread as death and evil enter the picture. But David isn’t shaken. And neither should we. He reminds us:
· Even as sheep following the Shepherd, we may still walk through valleys. Sometimes, they are dark valleys. Even death valleys. But we are comforted by God’s presence with us even in the valley. I fear no evil, for You are with me…
· As believers, we do not dwell in the valley of death. Death is not our final destination. We walk through the valley of death. Death is not our ultimate destiny; eternal life is!
· It is the valley of the “shadow” of death. We do not face the substance of death, but only death’s shadow. Christ faced the fully reality of death in our place.
· As believers in Christ, we are not like startled and frightened sheep in the face of death. Instead, David says we “walk” through the valley. We do not sprint or run in desperation. We walk slowly, following our Shepherd in trust.
I want you to notice one final item. At the point in Psalm 23 when things grow dark, the promise of God’s protection and comfort grow more personal. So far, David has used words like “he” and “his” but now he begins to use “you” and “your.” In other words, as he faces the threat of death, David begins to speak directly to God and not just about God.
At this point, Psalm 23 becomes a prayer. It becomes a prayer for every child of.
Heavenly Father, you are my protector and shepherd in every valley of life. No matter how dark or dismal the days may get, you are always with me! You give me courage to face evil. You give me comfort even in the face of death. Thank you LORD that life is my destiny...beautiful, eternal, glorious life with you