1 Corinthians 5
“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 will 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 prior to Christ’s return, it is that all of our lives will end physically in death. Interestingly, when David uses the words “fear” and “death” in the opening verse of this devotion, he does not tie them together as we would expect. 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.” While there is death, 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 a 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 of the other side alive forever. With David, we can then say, “We shall not fear death.”
It is natural to fear about the things that we do not know, like 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, and the 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 the fear of death or dying, because we have full assurance and security 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 nothing but a shadow. Thank You, Lord.