David In the Valley of Death
Series: Mountains, Valleys and Caves
While Psalm 23 mentions “the valley of the shadow of death,” death is not the focus of the text. David concentrates on the Lord who is his shepherd. Of course, being a shepherd was David’s occupation as a youth. Because of his skill with a sling, he prevailed over Goliath in the Valley of Elah in a thrilling laser tag match. Death is not just a physical event. We experience debits to our accounts with relationships, health, addiction, employment, and finance. We don’t “die” in these valleys, but they can be dark and shadowy places. When we flunk, get a divorce, receive unfavorable medical news, are fired, sued, incarcerated, or audited, we are welcomed into the valley of the shadow of death. We didn’t sign up for it and we don’t want it—we only want to survive it.
We read this week about our Good Shepherd. For us to be able to trust God, we must believe He is good. One of the most familiar responses in church today is: “God is good all the time—all the time, God is good.” As followers of the Good Shepherd, we believe He will be with us in the dark spaces of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and grief. Not only is He with us now, but He promises always to be with us wherever we are. The last clause of the Psalm, “…and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” is something Jesus mentioned, too: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Be sure to read the story of Absalom’s revolt in 2 Samuel 15. David left his palace and had to travel down through the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives. Betrayed by his own son, David was devastated.
Speaker: Daniel Dennison
February 13, 2022
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