#Psalm23 is a famous psalm about the Good Shepherd who leads the sheep through the #ValleyOfTheShadowOfDeath, but have we really thought about what that means?
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.
~ Ps 23:4
Recently, the Life, Hope & Truth site posted a short blurb about “The Valley of the Shadow of Death“, which got me thinking about a few things. Why is it a “shadow”? Why must we travel it? Why didn’t the psalmist fear any evil?
TLDR: Everything in this life is temporary. It is the spiritual that is permanent.
Yesterday, I went for a walk to clear my head. After a while, the stuff inside just builds up, and there is nothing like a walk along a park to think things over. Life is ever changing, which gives the illusion that it will last forever. Yet, we all know that death is one of the few certainties of life.
Nearby where I am staying, there are some metal sculptures at the north end of a small park. I couldn’t help but think about the metal “Swans in Flight” sculptures that used to adorn Ambassador College’s pool. I could not help but wonder just how much Gerald Flurry squandered on purchasing those swans for his own glory.
You know, the swans are temporary. Ambassador College was temporary. The earth will be renewed because it is otherwise temporary.
Our very lives are temporary.
Part of growing old is learning that you are not in control. Another part is to learn that this life is temporary. It should prod us to seek out the One Who is permanent and can give permanence.
How much power does God have? He has the power to break the bonds of even death itself.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death is not the same as the Valley of Death, which some want to shorten it to. It is a dark place. It is full of shadows. It is a scary place for the living. It is that fear when death seems imminent.
However, the answer to that fear is comfort, and that comfort is found in the rod and staff of the Good Shepherd. The staff can be used to guide and pull sheep out of dangerous situations. The rod is a symbol of power, and it can be used as a weapon against predators. If need be, it can be used to get the attention of a wayward sheep, but the comfort is that it won’t be used to hurt the sheep but rather guide it in the right direction. Used in the proper hands, these tools benefit the entire flock.
Only a very few will not pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death but become transformed at Christ’s return. Most will actually pass through the total darkness of death itself. Yet, the resurrection of Christ proves that God will defeat even that final enemy of mankind.