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.
Many times in our lives we will find ourselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death but the Good Shepherd already knew that we would walk through this valley. He promised that he would never leave us so his presence is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. The presence of the Lord gave David comfort as he walked through his valley of the shadow of death. David, said, “for thou art with me.” His presence gave David great comfort because David knew him to be greater than any giant he ever faced and he knew Him to be stronger than any lion or bear that came against him, he knew Him to be the Lord Strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, Yes that God was with David and is now with us as we face our fears.
I wonder what kind of valley are you going through right now; are you walking through the valley of cancer? Are you walking through the valley of depression? Are you walking through the valley of the pain and loss? Are you walking through the valley of witchcraft coming against your life? What is your valley? What are your going through? Is there a Goliath in your valley? Is there a lion or a bear in your valley? What is in your Valley? What are you afraid of?
As David stood in the valley of Elah facing Goliath he believed that the same God who delivered him from the paw of the bear and the lion, is the same God who will deliver him from the hand of Goliath. Whatever your valley is remember God is with you, and look back on your past and see how many times he has delivered you out of something you didn’t think you could get out of. This valley will be no exception, If he did it before he will do it again.
David said, thy rod and thy staff comforts him, so just what is the Rod and staff? What are they used for? In the case of the Shepherd the rod is a short club used for correction or for protection and the staff is a long slender stick, usually with a crook at the top, it used to guide the sheep and also as a support for the shepherd to lean on. In the spirit the Rod represents the word of God and the Staff represents the name of the Lord.
It’s interesting to note that David found comfort in these two items as a he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. These were his physical weapons of defense when he was a shepherd. He knew exactly what they were for and he knew that no good shepherd will go out without them. On any given day the sheep could be attack by wild beast such as lions and bears so it is important to carry these items of defense. It’s also interesting to note that the rod and staff are different by nature but performs similar duties. Because the staff is typically longer it is better used when the object of danger is further from the body but the rod is typically more effective when the threat is in close proximity.
As a shepherd David must have used his rod and staff a million times but as he went out to meet Goliath he had a different kind of rod and staff in mind. David was not thinking about an ordinary rod and staff. David had to size up this opponent and decided whether or rod or the staff would be most effective.
David chose to use his spiritual staff; David knew that the rod or the word would be lost on his opponent because, Goliath had no concept of God because he defied and mocked God. David also knew in order to use the rod you need to be in close proximity to your opponent and he was not trying to get into a fist fight or a wrestling match with a giant. David needed a strategy and he needed the right weapons. His physical Shepherd’s rod or staff would not work in this case. In the physical, David chose a sling and a stone and relied on a different kind of staff.
You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
David understood something about the name of the Lord, this was David’s Staff, He knew that there was protection in the name of the Lord, He knew that there is real Power in His name to break every chain and slay every giant in his life, he knew that the name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous runs in and they are safe. He knew the name of the Lord was a name that is above every name.
When you are going through your valley of the shadows of death, it’s important first to know that the presence of God is always with you because he promised that he would never leave you nor forsake you. Secondly, you should use the right strategies and the right weapons to fight with. Many times we go out in battle and we get defeated because we are not using the right weapons to fight with. Jesus used the rod or the word of God to defeat Satan by telling him “It is written.. three times Jesus overcame the temptation of the enemy by pointing to the scripture. It is important to know the word of God and hide it in your heart like David did so that you will not sin against Him. The word of God provides you with comfort and protection. The name of the Lord comforts, strengthens and protects you. Lean into the word and let it comfort you as you go through the valley of the shadow of death.
Please help me to see that you are with me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Please give me a deeper understanding of the your rod and your staff. Help me to find comfort and strength in them. Please help me to know the power of your words and the power that is in your name. Please help me to intimately know you.