Tag Archive: valley of shadow of death

‘The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,
for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.’

this is quite a short one so i thought i’d write out the whole thing… often with the passages of scripture we know we skim through them or just nod knowingly, but i encourage you to go back and really read it again, line by line, pausing to think about each one. there is so much richness in this psalm.

verse 3 stands out for me – ‘He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.’ – kind of counter culture to the whole church, worship, personal salvation “it’s all about me” message we too often slip into [Val told me the other day about this worship competition invite we received here – so different teams are going to be competing to see who can play a worship song the best. i think that’s when it has become just a song because any worship aspect disappeared the moment competition was brought into it… and you can file that alongside ‘worship song of the year’ which is quite likely determined by looking at the winner of the ‘worship song that made the most money this year’ award – Jesus, ready Your whip]

because it is His name’s sake. the story is all about Him. it is His kingdom. we would do well to remember that. in fact part of signing on for this adventure was something about denying myself, taking up my cross every day and following Him [luke 9.23] if i recall. i am a disciple OF JESUS. i am a follower OF JESUS. if i go in for the old title i used to wear before i started leaning towards follower of Jesus, then i am a CHRISTian. if we could align our lives to live for the glory of God rather than the glory of me [as we so often slip into, guilty as charged] then the world would be completely revolutionised.

the other part i want to focus on and it culminates with verse 5’s ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,’ starts with this section: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.’ [vs. 4] the idea that while God is completely invested in being there when trouble strikes [and supporting, comforting, strengthening, helping endure, restoring] He doesn’t seem all that committed to keeping us safe from it. And i love that about God. to be honest i definitely don’t always like that about God, but i get that He uses the times to strengthen and work character and build up and also break down some of the garbage and brokenness in me… and so while they may not be fun times, i can rest confidently in the fact that He is there and He won’t abandon me, or let the situation take me down. or you.

continuing my journey of reading through the psalms at a leisurely pace, making some observations as i go along, inviting you to jump in to the comments section with a verse or idea or question or wrestle that possibly jumped out at you as you were reading this particular psalm:


‘Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But…’ [verse 2]

i think this stood out for me and possibly not for the same reasons the psalmist intended, but really the sense of a lot of people around him looking at his belief in God and ridiculing it or disregarding it and kind of writing it off… followed by this giant BUT.

As in, people around me may not think there is much significance in the God i serve or call out to or worship, but i have experienced it differently and i trust that my God will come through for me.

that followed by the beginning of verse 5 which interestingly reads, ‘I lie down and sleep’ which, for those who know me, may not seem like a verse i would rush to as sleep has not been a big theme of the recent years of my life… but it stands out because you have this guy who seems like he is on his own and he is crying out to God and yet there is this sense of confidence that when he lies down he will sleep. That speaks of his faith and trust in God and i really like that. Reminiscent of Psalm 23 and ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me and Your staff and rod they comfort me.’

we serve a God who is real. and He is faithful. and that is exciting. and worth writing about and testifying to.

[To continue on to Psalm 4, click here]

[To return to the start of this series on Psalms or some other Bible things, click here]

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