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Psalm 23:4 says, “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.”
Have you ever wondered what the valley of the shadow of death is in this Psalm? Many think it is just a symbolic reference to death itself. It certainly can be. But it is also a reference to an actual valley, the Wadi Qelt.* It is a 17-mile-long, narrow gorge that runs through the mountainous region between Jericho and Jerusalem. The sides are steep, at times just cliffs. Caves can be found in the Wadi as well. It was dangerous because of falls, rock slides and wild animals. It was also home to thieves who hid in the caves. This is where the Good Samaritan was attacked.
The 23rd Psalm pictures sheep who have no fear in the valley because the shepherd is present. His staff guides the sheep and his club is ready to beat off anything that attacks.
When we are cared for by God, we do not fear evil. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And as verse 35 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
So, walk close to God and have no fear!
*Don Knebel, “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” http://donknebel.com/2013/06/valley-of-the-shadow-of-death/.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.