June 25 I Tuesday
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” —Psalm 23:4 (KJV)
If we are honest with ourselves, some of us may confess that we fear death, dying or a bit of both. We may try to ignore or escape it but if there is one thing we can be certain of, it is that all of our lives will end physically in death. Interestingly, David uses the words “fear” and “death” in the same sentence for the opening verse of this devotion. We would expect him to tie these words together, for it is natural to fear death, but surprisingly, David contrasts these two words to illuminate our security from the Good Shepherd.
David encourages us that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. David takes hold of “evil” and “death” and argues, “These two are no longer married together, where death leads to fear.” There is death, but there is no fear; and he separates the two. Why? Because David describes death as “the valley of the shadow of death,” where death, though real, is reduced to a shadow.
If we see the shadow of a stick on the wall, it will never hit us. If we see the shadow of a dog, it will never bite us. If we see the shadow of a truck coming down the sidewalk, it will never run us down. Similarly, when death is reduced to a shadow, it will never kill us. Shadows are only found when there is light. Death becomes a shadow when we put a light on it and the light that we have in our life is Jesus.
When we know the Lord as our Good Shepherd and are in relationship with Him, we have received the gift of eternal life. We can have confidence that we will pass through the shadow of death and come out the other side alive forever. With David, we can then say, “We shall not fear death.”
There are natural fears about the things we do not know about death and the process of dying but it is only a shadow. When we have the Lord on our side, we have the light that shines on death, but this shadow of death cannot hurt us. Even though this physical life will come to an end, we know from 2 Corinthians 5:8 that to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord. In our day-to-day life, we can live without fear of death or dying because we have full-assurance that when we pass from this life we will be with God forever.
Prayer: Lord God, give me the confidence and faith to believe in You. Eradicate my fears of death and dying because it is only a shadow. Thank You, Lord.