Psalm 23:4—We Can Trust Him in the Valley
June 28th, 2020

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Between the two hilltops is usually a valley.  This verse about the dark valley between two hills is the center verse of the Psalm. 

Even though I walk

Just like veterans that have been through the battle, Christians who have been through these times with God have learned to lean on Him, learned not to be afraid and to trust their shepherd.  They have learned not to run through the valley, and risk hurting themselves or others, but to calmly walk through it in faith.  They have learned to trust in the promises of God (Isaiah 43:2)

Through the valley

Valleys do not continue on forever.  we are walking through it.  

of the shadow of death

If it’s the valley of darkest shadow, is it so dark that the light of God cannot penetrate it and bring us through?  No.

And if these words literally mean the valley of the shadow of death or death-shadow, then as Christians, we are supposed to be consider ourselves to 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.   

For the Christian, death is robbed of it’s victory.  There is no sting in death, because death’s power is because of sin, and all of our sin has been paid for by Jesus on the cross.  So, as Christians, we face only the shadow of death, a thing robbed of its power to really harm us.

I will fear no evil,

If you truly fear God, then you need not fear anything else.  This means that if you really understand even a bit of the awesome power and provision that is found in God, you have nothing to fear.

Faith and fear cannot exist together. 1st John: 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

God sometimes allows trials in order to strengthen and develop our faith.   When David volunteered to fight against Goliath, he said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). Without the trials of the bear and the lion, there is no success against the giant Goliath.

So how can we learn to increase in faith and decrease in fear?  Romans 10:17 says So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  You’re not going to trust someone you don’t know, and you’re not going to know God without carefully studying His Word for yourself. 

For You are with me.

In verse 4 David begins speaking to God directly, saying Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death You are with me” (Psalms 23:4). Here in the valley is when our Shepherd Jesus is the closest to us. 

In those words, “for You are with me” rest the faith of the Christian.  Words are only worth what the character of the person speaking them makes them worth.  It was because the LORD who cannot lie said to Joshua in chapter 1 verse 5 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you that Joshua was made strong and courageous.

It because of the character of Jesus, that we can believe Him, as the author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 13:5b for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”