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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoinest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23:4-6 KJV)
Last week, we focused on Jesus, who is the Great Shepherd. He is always ready to forgive and restore us when we sin. In verses 1 – 3, we are reminded that there is safety, security, refreshment, forgiveness, renewal, restoration, direction, and guidance in Jesus. All we have to do is repent of our sins and accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
In Psalm 23:4-6, Jesus is not only portrayed as The Great Shepherd but also as a host. When we are facing difficult circumstances or trails in our lives, we have the assurance that Jesus is with us. He has never abandoned us, nor will He. The enemy loves to use fear on the children of God to cause us to doubt God’s promises.
David reminds us that even though the situation appears to lead to death, we should not fear because God is with us. We should keep in mind that it’s only a shadow, not death. A dark shadow can be very frightful and we may think it’s going to harm us but it has no power to bring us harm. Henry T. Mahan writes: ‘… Christ has removed the substance of death and only a shadow remains’. That means it will not lead to physical death.
Shepherd’s used their rod to fight and kill predators that come to bring harm to the sheep. Jesus does the same in our lives. He is there to fight our battles for us as long as we hand it over to Him. Just as the shepherds use their staff to round up the sheep and guide them along the way so that they do not stray. Jesus is there to protect us from the hands of the enemy and disciples us when necessary so that we do not stray.
It is very important to keep in mind that Jesus considers us as His friends. It was customary in biblical times when a guest entered a home, the host would anoint the guest’s head with oil and give them the best choice wine. Jesus loves us so much that he desires each of his children to enjoy the feast which he has prepared. He desires that we receive and enjoy the overflow of abundant blessings he has promised. The only ways we can receive and enjoy these privileges is to obey God’s Word and love each other as Christ loves us. He loved us so much that He died on our behalf.
Missionary Judith A. Gilzene Moodie
- Ellsworth, Roger. 2006. Opening Up Psalms
- Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; and Brown, David. 1871. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
- Mahan, Henry T. 2007. With New Testament Eyes vol. 1