“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4, NIV
Perhaps the time when we are in the greatest need of comfort is when we know our days on Earth are drawing to a close. It is often a time when we have to be dependent on others for even the basics of life and we can no longer fend for ourselves. It is in this place that our trust is utterly on the Lord, for only He knows the way ahead. It is only hand-in-hand with Him, that we can have the absolute surety of knowing that we have nothing to fear.
David faced the possibility of death on numerous occasions, but he knew with an unshakeable certainty that when his moment eventually came, the living God would be in charge of his eternal destiny. He did not fear the evil spiritual realms, presided over by the enemy of souls, for knowing that God was with him meant that the enemy couldn’t even come close. When God is with us, we have nothing and no-one to fear.
The rod and the staff David speaks of represent both the authority of God, above all alien powers, and the crook of the Shepherd as He lovingly cares for His sheep. What a comfort it is to know that the one who is holding your hand is the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep personally. He gave His life for you (John 10:14-16).
The time of waiting for God’s home call was described by David as the ‘valley of the shadow of death’. But this is only a dark place for those who do not know their Saviour! For the believer, the one who is holding your hand as you go through the valley is also the Light of the World! And His light will surround you, lighting the path and bringing a deep inner comfort which truly brings peace which is beyond all human understanding.
To know the Lord is to have life – eternal life, eternal peace and the joy of being with your Lord and Saviour for ever. As the hymn writer expressed it, “Hallelujah, What a Saviour!”
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You truly are the Comforter and that believers have nothing to fear in death. Help me Lord to stay close to You all my days, knowing that You will remain close to me, even when my time comes. Thank You that Your rod and staff are my comfort. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.