I Will Fear No Evil

SCRIPTURE

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…

DEVOTION

Up until this point, Psalm 23 has been so wonderful. It has been filled with words of the nature of our Shepherd, of His protection and care, of green pastures and still waters, and of our souls being refreshed.

But here we are at the first dark note in the Psalm. What a contrast to all that came before…

And yet, here in this verse, we see some of the most wonderful and soul-comforting words we could ever hear. These words spoken by David are made more beautiful precisely because of the darkness they find themselves in… Let’s see what he says.

 

#1: The Valley is Inevitable

 

Dear friend, do you see what David says here? He says, “Even though,” rather than “Even if.”

This tells us something that David knew very well: that valley seasons – seasons of darkness, trials, and of facing evil – are not avoidable.

They don’t just happen to certain people for certain reasons. They happen to us all. They are inevitable.

And so, what David is about to tell us is vital for us ALL. It is information that we will all need to hear, for we will all one day go through the valley.

So, what can we expect from these seasons?

 

#2: The Valley is Not Our Dwelling Place

 

Firstly, though valley seasons are inevitable, they are not permanent. Hallelujah!!

David says, “Even though I WALK THROUGH the valley”. There’s movement and transition! It’s not a stationary place for us.

Dear friend, we are not meant to dwell in the valley of the shadow of death – we are to walk through it.

This is very good news for us, especially if we are currently in this trying season. We can cling to the truth that this is not where our story ends, and that we WILL walk through this season into a new one.

 

#3: The Valley is Not Death Itself

 

Secondly, although the valley may look and reek and feel like death, it is NOT death itself.

Although we may be facing the toughest trial and the most sinister evil ever, and although death casts its cruel and dark outline over us, David assures us that this valley is merely the shadow of death.

And when we read this passage in light of our Great Shepherd, Jesus, we realise that truly, death has lost its sting! Now, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, only death’s shadow is present.

Charles Spurgeon spoke these comforting words, “Death in its substance has been removed, and only the shadow of it remains…. Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man’s pathway even for a moment. The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us.”

 

#4: Our Companion in the Valley

 

In the face of great evil and suffering, it is natural for us to fear. But here, David’s words offer us peace:

“I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

We need not fear, because of our companion in the valley: our very great Shepherd.

Though He may not remove the evil itself, He will remove the fear of evil.

David Guzik says, “Despite every dark association with the idea of the valley of the shadow of death, David could resolutely say this because he was under the care of the LORD his shepherd. Even in a fearful place, the presence of the shepherd banished the fear of evil.”

I am so grateful that we have a Shepherd who has the power to banish all the fear of evil.

And look how close He is to us: David changes from speaking in the third person to speaking in the second… from “He” to “You”. He speaks directly to the Shepherd, and reminds his heart that His Shepherd is indeed always with him. Just as He is with you, beloved.

May God your Shepherd displace all fear in you today.

If you need prayer today, please do drop a prayer point in the Interseed community.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

What truth assures and comforts your heart and mind today?

  1. The valley is not my dwelling place. I will walk through it.
  2. The valley is not death itself – merely its shadow.
  3. My Shepherd will dispel all my fear by His presence.
  4. OTHER

PRAYER

Good Shepherd, thank You for being my ever-present companion in the valley. I will fear no evil, for You are with me. You are indeed with me, my God.

In every valley, in every trial, and in every dark association I find myself in, please remind me that You are there, Good Shepherd. I will put my trust in You today. I will choose to remember Your Word – that the valley is not permanent, that You have already conquered death, and that Your presence will dispel all fear.

Thank You, Good Shepherd. I love You.

In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.

PRAYER POINTERS

Pray for those who are walking through intense valley seasons right now. Pray for the Lord to assure them that He is with them always, until the very end of the age.

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