Monday, September 1, 2014
Greetings, and a Happy Labor Day and start of a new month to all. Today, I would like to share with you some very good points made by Pastor Ruben in his message yesterday on the 23rd Psalm, in particular verse 4. It reads: “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.”
Although we all have mountaintop, as well as valley experiences in our lives, whenever we are going through a dark and difficult time, and because we are human, we often tend to think that God is not with us even though He has promised never to leave or forsake us. From the onset of this, his most well known psalm, David made it quite clear that he was speaking from the standpoint of one of the Shepherd’s sheep. (The Lord is my Shepherd) In verse 4, he referred to what was probably the scariest time for the particular flock he was in, that is, when they were passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Even then, he wrote that he was unafraid because his Master was with him. The very sight of the Shepherd’s rod and staff comforted him because they reminded him that He was very near. When I was an imaginative and easily scared little boy, I could still sleep comfortably at night just knowing that my dad was in the next room. I bet some of you had someone like that in your life as well.
Brother Ruben used the example of an Old Testament story in 1 Kings, Chapter 20. The enemies of God’s people, because they had been defeated in battle in the hills the previous year, came back the following spring to attack the Israelites in the valley. They had thought that the God of the Israelites was the God of the hills and not the God of the valleys. They were fatally mistaken. In our case, however, this is further proof that our God is with us whether we are on the highest mountain or the lowest valley.
I’ll end with this last point Brother Ruben made: If you are going through a dark and difficult time in your life, remember that your valley is a “passageway” and not your “destination.” All storms in this life are temporary; they don’t last forever. Do like David and declare that although you’re going through a valley, you’re just passing through. Better still, say “I will fear no evil for God is with me.”
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 30:5 NLT) “His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.”