When David wrote these words, he was not in his grand palace, a place of safety and protection; he was actually in a very difficult and challenging place. In fact, I believe that he was on the run from King Saul, hiding in a cave somewhere in the harsh and unforgiving desert. How could he write such confident, secure words in the midst of such insecurity? David knew the Lord in a deep, personal way; He knew God’s character, that God would never forsake him, and so David had no reason to be afraid.
For a follower of the Messiah, the reality is that we will face hardships, rejection, insults, and be persecuted. In fact, Yeshua promised us that the world would hate us because of Him (Matthew 10:22). It is a complete lie that our lives will somehow be easier once we become a follower of the Messiah; in fact, I can promise you that the trials and challenges will increase in intensity! However, due to our knowledge of Yeshua, of the written Word, and the hope that we have in Him, we do not need to fear anything. His Spirit guides us, shields us, and encourages us every step of the way.
Allow me to rephrase the above verse a bit: ““Even when” (or a different way to translate this “although”) I will walk in the valley that reflects death, darkness, discomfort, hardship, persecution, etc, I will fear no evil. I know that as I go through this dark trial, the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid.”
Because I know the character and goodness of my Shepherd! Not only do I know Him from the Scriptures, but also from experience; I have seen Him lead me on the right path to a place of abundance, peace, and comfort. Even more than this, I have experienced His restoration of my weary soul. He has given me a new life in Him, has given me the victory, and I am now His child! Brothers and sisters, we have much reason to hope and no reason to fear.
This past week, we in Israel went through one of the worst storms in many, many years. We were stuck at home with a lot of snow (at least 3 feet!) … and also stuck with power outages, the longest being 11 hours where we had no heat in sub-freezing temperatures, no way to warm up food, and in the evening, we had to be with candle lights. Our kids were scared and cold, and that was a small opportunity to teach them and encourage them to be thankful for what we did have and trust God in the midst of fear.
Are you going through a valley that may reflect death, a place of darkness? God is with you! He hasn’t left you…you can trust Him with your very life. Let me encourage you with the words that Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) used to encourage the Philippians:
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Messiah Yeshua”. Phil 1:6
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