Psalm 23: 3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Life has a way of draining us, especially when we go our way instead of God’s way. Proverbs 14: 12 You can rationalize it all you want and justify the path of error you have chosen, but you’ll find out in the end that you took the road to destruction. We need God to help us turn around and go the right way. Even Isaiah knew this: Isa. 53: 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. God, our good Shepherd has a way to guide us onto the best paths.
Sometimes, even the dark valley path is a right path. Sheep will move through dark valleys to reach prime grazing in the summer pastures of the mountains. The sheep don’t stay in the valleys but move onto higher ground. Here the Shepherd moves from leading the sheep to walking beside them and He is armed. His rod is used for protection and discipline and shows God’s authority. The staff is for guidance and to draw the sheep into a closer relationship.
We, too, will have seasons of a dark valley, but we don’t need to stay there. God will walk beside us with protection, guidance, and His authority. We may need to go through a dark valley to reach higher ground. It will be in this dark valley, that we draw closer to God and learn to trust Him more.
These verses are often read at funerals. It is only God who can lead us through our human death. All other human companions must turn back and the one traveling through death only has God to walk by him.
How about you? Have you been willing to give up your own way to follow the ways that God wants to lead you? There is a cost to following Jesus and it involves giving our will up for His. John 14: 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
To hear more about David and Psalm 23, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/david-and-his-songs-the-early-years/the-lord-is-my-shepherd