Psalm 23:4

Posted on July 8, 2024

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Psalm 23:4

Psalm 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.

  1. Introduction
    1. Prior to being a Christian, I remember vividly some fears that I had in this life growing up. I had a strong fear of the dark.
    2. When I’d go visit a friend who was probably a quarter mile away, I’d have to run through this dark trail and you’d hear all these spooky, scary sounds.
    3. When I became a Christian, I prayed against that. My pastor prayed with me. In fact I had the church pray for me, it was such an issue.
    4. Growing up my family liked horror movies. I remember one time going to the drive-in in North Hampton New Hampshire.
    5. My mom wanted to watch House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. Then she’d have it on when we got home from school.
    6. I knew there was a reason why I was so afraid, but I think I was more afraid of the unknown, because I really didn’t know what was known because when your mother or father is doing something, you think it’s ok, but as you get older you realize it wasn’t ok.
    7. When I became a Christian, I wanted to face those fears, but I wanted to have a healthy awareness.
    8. I remember going back to that trail as a kid and walking that trail, praying all the way through it. All of the sounds as I was walking,
    9. I realized I had heard all those sounds in the daylight. They were just birds in the trees. Animals scuffing around in the dark trying to find food. Why?
    10. Because they also were afraid of the unknown person that could take their life away.
    11. When I look at the title of my message, I realize as a Christian, that the only fear I need to have, is the fear of the Lord.
    12. Always remembering that it’s not the darkness that should frighten anyone. It’s merely what comes out of it that shakes you.
    13. If you put things in perspective like that, I believe you’ll have a very healthy perspective of darkness vs light.
    14. The devil is the one that makes people have fear because that’s one of his tactics to keep one in bondage and paralyze a whole host of people from conducting their lives in a normal way.

 

 

  1. I’ve overcome a lot of fears. One day we will all face the second death, and the first one being when you were born again and surrendering your heart to Jesus.
  2. That was the first death, and becoming born again. The second death is when you physically die and your body lays and decays.
  3. The bible says in 1st Corinthians 4:17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
  4. Though one day I shall walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and understand more things, as I age in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, I see evil for what it is. I’m an overcomer.
  5. The bible says in Revelation 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
  6. The bible goes on to say in 2nd Corinthians 5:8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
  7. The bible also says in Matthew 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
  8. Now let us look into our message today, Psalm 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.
  1. In looking at this message, how do you see the scripture in Psalm 23:4?
    1. Everyone will walk through the valley of the shadow of death at one point. Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: No one is exempt, unless you go up in the rapture first. The shadow of death is not something to fear, it is a transition point from this location to another.
    2. We need not fear evil. God is always with us. Psalm 32:7: Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. Though hard times may come, and bad things may happen, we can always trust in the protecting presence of our Lord.
    3. His rod and staff comfort us. He is always leading and guiding us if we submit to Him. Psalm 31:3: For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. God doesn’t hide his will for our lives.

We just need to crack open that book, pray, and He will lead us. We can be comforted to know that He will do this.

 

  1. How do you perceive death?
    1. The apostle Paul said that to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. What does that mean? As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will live for Christ. When I die, I will gain eternity with Him.
    2. Paul also said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 2nd Corinthians 5:8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
    3. We also know that the moment someone takes their last breath here, and their first one in heaven, there’s no former remembrance of this life. Ecclesiastes 1:11: There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. There have been so many instances where people claim to have been to heaven or hell and come back to write books about it and make millions! This is false doctrine. There is no remembrance of this life, and who’d want to remember this place!?

 

  1. What do you truly perceive as being life?
    1. The King James bible dictionary defines life as, 1. that state of animals, plants, or an organized being, in which its natural functions and motions are performed, or in which its organs are capable of performing their functions.
    2. In animals, animation; vitality; and in man, that state of being in which the soul and body are united.

 

  1. Before becoming a Christian, what were your fears?
    1. You might have had a fear of the unknown. We’re not to fear what might happen tomorrow or in the future. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Just follow Jesus today and trust Him for the unknown things of tomorrow.
    2. A lot of people have a fear of death. Hebrews 2:15: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Those who have a fear of death are in bondage. Give your heart and soul to Jesus, and you will find life, here and for eternity.

 

  1. When you’d hear that scripture in Psalm 23:4, might that be something you’d try to hold on to, to suppress your fears
    1. When fears come your way, concentrate on the Lord. Praise Him and fear Him instead. Psalm 22:23: Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. When the enemy tries to put fear in your heart, singing a song of praise to God, and remembering all he has done for you can quench those fears and put a confident faith in its place.

 

  1. What does fear mean to you? Have you been an overcomer?
    1. I once heard an acronym for fear, as being False Evidence Appearing Real. On the other hand, faith is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.
    2. You can be an overcomer by the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of your testimony, and the testimony of others. Revelation 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. This is why it is so important to share your testimony. You can help someone else be an overcomer.
    3. When I say this is one of Satan’s tactics to keep you in fear and bondage, do you see that, and have you noticed it in your walk with God and study of God?

 

  1. How did the patriarchs in the Old Testament deal with this scripture in Psalm 23:4?
    1. Jacob was about to have a meeting with his estranged brother Esau and he definitely had a fear of evil. Genesis 32:11-12: Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.” Jacob surrendered his fear to the Lord, and the Lord blessed him in the end.
    2. God told Abraham to fear not. Abraham had a fear that Isaac would never come. Genesis 15:1-3: After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Abraham walked with God, and at the age of 100, the promise came. When we live in fear and don’t trust God’s Promises, we can bring about Ishmaels, and make a mess of things.
  2. Who in the New Testament dealt with this also? What was their outcome?
    1. Peter had a fear of what the crowd might do to him, and as a result, he denied the Lord. Matthew 26:69-70: Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. We should have more trust in God, than fear of what man might do or say.
    2. The disciples were caught in a storm and had fear because Jesus was asleep in the midst of the storm. Mark 4:37-39: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Have you dealt with fear of impending danger, or needed help and it seemed like Jesus was asleep. Well, he never slumbers or sleeps, and as soon as you call on Him, He’s right there and in due time will calm the storm.

 

  1. We are more than conquerors.
    1. This can be found in Romans 8:37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Paul goes on to say that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. We’re more than conquerors! We’re children of the King!

 

  1. I shall fear no evil
    1. This is our main verse for this message. Psalm 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. Just keep trusting God. He will protect you and no weapon formed against you will prosper. Fear not!

 

  1. I shall quench the fiery darts of the enemy.
    1. The bible says this in Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. This is the key to everything we’ve been talking about. That shield of faith. Are you confident and full of expectant faith that God will be with you, no matter what comes your way?

 

  1. Story of Psalm 23.
    1. Psalm 23 is one of the more famous psalms written by David the King. This was the same David who took down Goliath with a slingshot and some smooth stones.
    2. David was now King but he was also a musician and liked to write poems and songs. This particular psalm is about God being his Shepherd-King.
    3. Keep in mind that David used to be a shepherd. He remembers how he lead and cared for a herd of sheep.
    4. At first thought a King and a Shepherd are very different. When I think about a King I think of a royal crown, a large castle, servants, large fancy meals and a beautiful Queen.
    5. When I think of a shepherd, I think of a servant who works in the fields with raggedy old clothes and a small bag lunch.
    6. There is also something that a Shepherd and a King have in common too. They both take care of something.
    7. A King is supposed to look after and protect the kingdom of people under him and a Shepherd looks after and protects his herd of sheep.
    8. A King might have fancier stuff than a shepherd but they both have an important job.
    9. David might compare God to a shepherd because sometimes when we think of kings, we think of someone snobby,
    10. Someone who thinks he’s more important than us and he couldn’t possibly know each person in his kingdom.
    11. A shepherd on the other hand seems like a regular person that works hard and takes care and loves each of his sheep.
    12. We wouldn’t be afraid to talk to a shepherd and could just be ourselves around him.
    13. David knows that God isn’t like the kings on earth so he compares Him to a loving shepherd taking care of his people so we can get a better picture of what God is like.
    14. So, throughout this chapter even though David is talking about himself as a sheep. I think it was meant for us to read and see ourselves as the sheep and God as our shepherd.
    15. After thinking about a shepherd I thought about sheep and how they completely rely on the shepherd for food, shelter and safety. Just like we need to rely on God.

 

 

  1. You might think that your parents provided all this for you but your parents had to rely and trust in God for a job, money & blessings so they could give you what you needed.
  2. Another important point is that sheep don’t know as much as a shepherd. If you really think about it sheep are pretty dumb compared to a shepherd.
  3. Compared to God we don’t know too much either! God knows our future, He made us and the whole world.
  4. The first part of the psalm David talks about God being his shepherd and he is the sheep.
  5. The shepherd makes sure his sheep has everything he needs like nice green grass and clean water. God gives him peace and rest because he can trust Him.
  6. God keeps him on the good path. Even when there’s rough times he doesn’t have to be afraid.  God is always with him and He can make him feel better when he needs it.
  7. Then David talks about a banquet that God the King would prepare. There were lots of important, fancy banquets for kings and since David was a king he was thinking how God would treat him.
  8. God would prepare a banquet for David and protect him from his enemies. He would treat David like a royal guest and anoint him.
  9. In those days people would get anointed to become king or if they were recognized as being someone special.
  10. David was trying to say that even though he was King, God recognized him as more than a king but as someone even more special to Him.
  11. David ends by saying that he will continually be blessed by God with lots of goodness and love and he is looking forward to living with God forever.
  12. God is our Shepherd-King and we are his sheep. God is guiding us, protecting us and He loves us.  We don’t know as much as God does so we have to trust Him.
  13. We need not fear the shadow of death, or evil for our God is with us.

 

  1. Conclusion
    1. In relation to this message today, where do you stand?
    2. Are your eyes open and your mind ready to receive what’s truth and what’s not.

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