Read: Psalm 23:4
THEME: Psalm 23 carries a weight of maturity. It is more than a song of a shepherd boy; it is the testimony of one who has been shepherded through a lifetime of pain, challenges and correctives.
As we look at verse 4 of psalm 23, we can think of the losses David experienced in his lifetime. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me’.
David lost the life of one of his sons at the hand of another, and then saw the life of the son whom he had belatedly forgiven and restored taken wilfully by his nephew. In his own sinfulness and through his murderous plans, he had lost the companionship of his neighbour and seen the child of his adultery die at birth. And so the list of losses could go on.
David needed comfort in his bereavement and at times he needed correction too. Amazingly David was a man who could find as much comfort in the application of God’s rod and staff as he could in God’s heartfelt consolation.
When death overshadows us, God comes alongside to walk us through the valley, keeping us going even when we are tempted to think the path is never ending. Similarly if we are overwhelmed with remorse and despair, God can break into our self-pity and bring us to a liberating repentance through the accuracy of His word.
David knew more about the shadow of death and the valley of despair than most of us but he also came to know a God who could bring him through.
Let us be grateful that we have a God who can comfort and correct.