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The Lord is My Shepherd

Jun 30, 2019 | Randy Gunter

The Lord is my Shepherd: Part 4

The Lord is My Shepherd: Part 4
Psalm 23

The Judean wilderness is a land with almost no rainfall. Even though it is only 15 miles from Jerusalem, the contrast between two areas is remarkable. For the regions’ shepherds, the journey through the wilderness was common. The pathway includes many rugged peaks and dark valleys. The heat was deadly and the pathway was treacherous, including thieves, bandits, gangs and wild animals.

The wilderness journey was the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan. “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.(Luke 10:30 ESV) It is an important parable to know and understand. But, perhaps, it also gives us insight to the valley of the shadow of death.Many people believe that this wilderness journey was one that David had in mind when he wrote the poetic phrase, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

David took his sheep on the journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He fled Saul by those wilderness pathways. He ran from Absalom when his son led a coup to overthrow him. David had been through the valley of the shadow of deathmany times.

We each find ourselves in a valley of peril at times. It is comforting to know that Jesus understands us when we travel through such valleys. As his earthly ministry concluded, he journeyed towards Jerusalem, to Calvary’s cross via the wilderness pathway. Jesus passed through the treacherous valley of the shadow of deathin order to die on a cross bearing our sin, judgment, and death upon himself. On the third day, he rose triumphantly from the dead, and he shares his victory over sin, suffering, and death with all who place their faith and hope in him.

As we journey into the valley of the shadow of death, we need not fear because our Savior and Lord has made the journey before us.   

When walking through the valley of the shadow of death, remember:

  1. The valley is part of our journey; it doesn’t change the Lord’s care, restoration, and leadership.

  2. We travel in valleys and out of them.

  3. We walk through the valley; we don’t reside there.

  4. The closest we come to knowing death is to walk in its shadow.

 “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

  1. The presence of Christ gives us confidence and courage when walking through valleys—I will fear no evil.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV)

Psalm 139:7-12

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV)

  1. The Lord holds a rod and staff to protect me from enemies and lift me from troubles.

Series Information

A 6 week study on truths found in Psalms 23. 

Other sermons in the series