Oh, what blessedness and goodness is found in 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.” [KJV]
That is the way most of us have learned it and memorized it, from the King James. I am often reminded, and have often reminded others, that death for a Christian is simply walking through that valley of the shadow. We go straight from our last breath in this life to our eternal first breath in the next … directly into the Presence of our LORD.
But the comfort and goodness found in Psalm 23:4 is more than just for a death experience. When I read that verse in the Holman Christian Standard Bible it reads: “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.”
Even when I go through the darkest valley, the LORD is there. And, if He is there in the darkest of valleys, He is also there when we go through those valley which are perhaps a little less dark, but still dangerous and difficult.
While death is that final darkest valley, we are still going to go through other dark times in our lives. There will be valleys which contain broken relationships, financial difficulties, health issues, wayward children, and a host of other experiences.
Our LORD protects us no matter the valley. He will use His rod and His staff, the equipment of a shepherd to ward off danger and comfort His sheep. He watches over us.
What a wonderful God we serve!