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Pastor Joe and MaryHelen Martinez

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Friday, October 20 2017

There is so much that I want to share with you regarding Psalm 23:4 that I decided to break it down in two parts, the first part concerning the valley of the shadow of death. Here is what that part of the verse says: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Before we proceed, I remind you to keep in mind that the man who wrote this psalm, (David) was a shepherd himself. He knew what his sheep needed in order to thrive. Therefore, when he wrote the psalm, he wrote it from the perspective of one of the sheep of the Lord’s flock. In other words, when he wrote “the Lord is my Shepherd”, he could have obviously added, “I am one of His sheep.” Almost all bible scholars agree that David’s “valley of the shadow of death” is comparable to the troubles, trials, and afflictions we all experience in this life. When I think of this verse, I always liken it to the account in the 8th Chapter of Luke that tells of the day when Jesus’ Disciples were caught in the middle of a terrifying storm. They thought they were going to perish but they didn’t because Jesus was with them in the boat. In the case of the sheep in the 23rd Psalm, he already knew by experience that although the surroundings were more than spooky, he had no reason to fear because the Good Shepherd was with him. Another thing to remember is that, just like Jesus knew that His Disciples needed to go through that storm in order to get to the other side, the Good Shepherd knew there was no way to avoid going through the valley of the shadow of death. Life’s trials are like that. In order to get to the other side, (Heaven) we’ve got to go through them. Here are four key words in this verse regarding the “valley”: (1) It is only a “shadow.” A shadow cannot kill or destroy anyone. For the child of God, death is but a shadow. That is why Paul could later write: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55) (2) It is a valley. Though some valleys may look mysteriously dark and frightful, all of them yield healthy vegetation. In other words, they are fruitful. And if they are fruitful, it is a good thing. (3) Our journey through valleys are “walks.” We don’t run through them in a panic or in desperation. It is a gentle and peaceful walk with our Good Shepherd who walks with us every step of the way until we reach the “other side.” (4) And we walk “through” the valley; we don’t stay there because it is not our final destination. I tell our church members often that life’s, trials, troubles, and afflictions are temporary, just like our lives here on earth. This is not our final home; we’re only passing through. If you are going through a storm or an extremely dark valley today, let me remind you that it will come to an end, probably sooner than later. Conclusion: In the end, going through “the valley of the shadow of death” is actually a good thing. And it’s all because we have a “Good Shepherd.”

God’s promise for today (Deuteronomy 20:1) “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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