Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Though I Walk Through the Valley

Date: AM
Text: Psalm 23:4
Psalters: 35, 103, 211, 52
  1. The valley.
    1. The figure is that of sheep going to or from high pastures, and the best way to travel was through the valleys.
    2. The spiritual reality is that death’s shadow often hangs over the heads of God’s people in this present evil world.
      1. Death surrounds the believer: plants, animals, loved ones.
      2. Also there is the presence of “evil.”
    3. Thus there is much occasion for fear for our safety, whether our Shepherd will forsake us when we sin.
  2. But the sheep of God have no reason to fear when they walk through the valley.
    1. The chief reason we need not fear the fearful shadows of the valley is because the Shepherd is “with me.”
      1. When our eyes adjust to the shadow we see that He is with us.
      2. Also we see that our Good Shepherd went before us through the valley, and He did so because of His love for His sheep.
      3. And this Good Shepherd is now “with” us as we walk through the valley.
    2. As valleys are the best way to climb a mountain range, so they are the best way to higher spirituality.
      1. We walk “through” them on our way to higher ground.
      2. Also we realize that in the valley we find refreshing water and temporary pasturage as we travel.
    3. Thus “I will fear no evil.”
  3. My Shepherd’s presence is in His “rod and staff.”
    1. The idea of the Shepherd’s rod and staff.
      1. His “rod” is an extension of the shepherd’s arm, portraying his strength and his authority.
      2. His “staff” was shaped and designed for sheep.
    2. “Thy” rod and staff indicate that these are but instruments in the hand of the Good Shepherd. A great comfort!!
      1. If we believed that the strike or touch of the Good Shepherd was not love, then we would be very frightened.
      2. But the presence of my Shepherd, also with His rod and staff, assures me of His care, of His protection, of His guidance, and of His undying love.
    3. And then we know that we shall be brought where the light never becomes shadow but shines always brightly.