Category : General
Psalm 23: 4(KJV)
4 I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;…
It is noted that this Psalm exhibits the pleasing picture of a pious man rejoicing in the goodness of heaven. He looks round him on his state, and his heart overflows with gratitude. Amidst the images of tranquillity and happiness one object presents itself which is sufficient to overcast the mind and to damp the joy of the greatest part of men; that is, the approach of death. With perfect composure and serenity the Psalmist looks forward to the time when he is to pass through the “valley of the shadow of death.” The prospect, instead of dejecting him, appears to heighten his triumph, by that security which the presence of his Almighty Guardian afforded him. Such is the happy distinction which good men enjoy in a situation the most formidable to human nature. That threatening aspect which appalls others, carries no terror to them.
Thou wilt be with me is the assurance of the child of God. Though invisible, thou wilt attend me. I shall not go alone; I shall not be alone. The psalmist felt assured that if God was with him, he had nothing to dread there. God would be his companion, his comforter, his protector, his guide. How applicable is this to death! The dying man seems to go into the dark valley alone. His friends accompany him as far as they can, and then they must give him the parting hand. They cheer him with their voice until he becomes deaf to all sounds; they cheer him with their looks until his eye becomes dim, and he can see no more; they cheer him with the fond embrace until he becomes insensible to every expression of earthly affection, and then he seems to be alone. But the dying believer is not alone. His Savior God is with him in that valley, and will never leave him. Upon His arm he can lean, and by His presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the bright world beyond. All that is needful to dissipate the terrors of the valley of death is to be able to say, “Thou art with me.”
And though men preach to us detachment. “Sit loosely to the world,” they say, that the wrench may be less when it comes. But the Good Shepherd says rather, learn attachment. It is His promise, “Fear not; I will be with thee.” It is our confidence, “I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.” Nay, more; it is our joy, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And is not this the true answer to our fears: How call I go to meet that shadow? How will my faith stand its cold embrace? How shall I ever believe in the bright promise of a land beyond, when here all is dark? Let us ask rather: How am I going to meet the duty just before me? Is He with me now? Have I learned to find Him in the quiet hours of the day? Have I found His presence in desolating sorrow? Have I felt His hand in darkness and doubt? If so, I need not look forward. He is leading me on, step by step and day by day. He is habituating me, little by little, to the withdrawal of the light, and to utter trust in Him. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” “Thou art with me.” Now is the time to make firm that companionship. To be still, and know that He is God. To find the guiding Hand in all its strength and security amid the death and life of each day’s hopes and fears. And then, when we enter the shadow, still it will be “with God on-wards.
Let us always remember that even though dark, cheerless, dismal as it seems, we must dread nothing. As a true friend of God, we have nothing to fear in that dark valley. Our great Shepherd will accompany us there, and can lead us safely through, however dark it may appear. The true believer has nothing to fear in the gloomiest scenes of life; he has nothing to fear in the valley of death; he has nothing to fear in the grave; he has nothing to fear in the world beyond. We are never alone, God is always with us and that is a promise He made to never leave nor forsake us.
Have a great and God filled day!