Wednesday: December 2, 2020

Psalms 23:4 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.

The geology of valleys suggest that there are mountains and hills around so light is very likely to be limited. The ease of shadows forming in one should make the concept of a dark valley very possible.

The Psalmist mentions “the valley of the shadow of death” – if this description is a place to envision, we are surely looking at an unfamiliar terrain with minimal source of lighting for guidance. Yet, he adds Psalmist “I will fear no evil because your rod and your staff comfort me”.

In darkness, one can’t help but feel vulnerable and unprotected. This worsens particularly in unfamiliar territories. For a sheep, a shepherd with both a rod and staff in hand provides comfort. The rod, a heavier and shorter piece of wood which is shaped like a club, is for defence from any external attacks as well as “herd management”. The staff, on the other hand, which has a curved edge is helpful in guiding the sheep along the right paths; even for getting them out of tricky spots.

Sweetheart, David walked knowing that even in unknown territories with zero visibility, his journey was being watched over by an armed shepherd. Where he may stray off course, there was a staff to get him back on track and those, brought him comfort. If indeed we also say ‘the Lord is our shepherd’, then we find reason to also fear no evil even when we march through the valley of the shadow of death.


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