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).
This again is a very picturesque scene. The shepherd is leading the sheep back home at evening. As they go down through a narrow gorge, the long shadows lie across the trail. In the Hebrew this is a
valley of deep shadows. The sheep, because they are so timid and defenseless, are frightened by their experience. But they trust the shepherd, and therefore they are comforted. They will fear no evil because the shepherd is with them. We are reminded of the Lord’s words quoted in the book of Hebrews:
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Hence we can confidently say,
The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:6). I do not know what your experience has been, but whenever I’m in a situation like this, when there is a great deal of pressure, I begin to wonder if the Lord hasn’t abandoned me. But He says He never leaves us, never forsakes us. He is always there. Therefore, we have no reason to fear. That is a great comfort.