King's Business - 1915-04



I I ., Every few banished, v. 4. This division of the Psalm covers but one verse, but what a verse! v. 4. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” The Lord’s sheep is now taken into new experiences, having been made to “lie down in pactures of tender grass” and led “besides the waters of rest,” and “led in paths of righteousness,” he is now led into the “valley of the shadow of death.” The Hebrew word translated “shadow of death” is of frequent occurrence in the Old Testa­ ment to express the deepest darkness. The Psalmist did not have merely the experience of literal death in mind, but all experiences where the darkness is thick and profound! God’s sheep do hot always walk in bright paths. The way the wise and tender Shep­ herd leads may lie through very dark val­ leys;' the path may be so dark that we cannot see ahead at all, we can scarcely see the Shepherd Himself, though we can hear His voice. It does not prove at all because we are in some dark valley that we are not His sheep, nor does it prove that He is not leading. Dark valleys may lie be­ tween one green and fat pasture and an­ other more green and rich and peaceful. The way. into the richest and most peaceful •pastures often lies through dark valleys, the valley whose darkness is like the shadow of death,' “the valley of the shadow of death.” But in the dark valley, Jehovah’s .sheep have no fears.' “I will fear no evil,” sings the Psalmist in the dark. A true trust in God banishes all fear under all cir­ cumstances for all time (cf. Isa. 12:2; 26:3; Ps. 3:5, 6;. 27:1-3; 46:1-3; 118:6; Isa. 41:10, 13; Phil. 4:6, 7; Rom. 8:28, 31, 32, 34). Jehovah’s sheep need never fear. They are as safe in the valley of the shadow of death as in the “pastures of tender grass” or “beside the waters of rest.” “For thou art with me.” In these words we have the reason the Psalmist gives why he will not fear,—not because there is no danger, but because there is One mightier with us than any possible enemy; hot because we are able to cope with any

dangers we may meet, but because there is One with us who is able to cope with them (cf. Isa. 43:2; Rom. 8:31; Heb. 13:5, 6). In these words, we have the one thought that banishes from the Christian’s heart all fear, “Thou art with me.” If we could get that truth firmly rooted in our minds and keep it in our thought, it would banish all fears and loneliness and overwhelming sor­ row forever. When you walk the streets by night and are in terror what may befall you, look up in the Shepherd’s face, and say, “Thou art with me.” - When you are out on the storm-tossed ocean in danger of shipwreck say again, “Thou art with me.” When lying on a bed' of sickness perhaps nigh unto death, say again, “Tljou art with me.” When out of work and turn­ ed from door after door as you seek em­ ployment and all men seem against you, say again, “Thou art with me.” When you see every dollar of your hard-earned money swept away and you are forced to face an unsympathizing world penniless, say again, “Thou art with me.” When friends misun­ derstand you and turn their backs upon you and separate you from their company, say again, “Thou art with me.” When you sit alone with your dead, and not only your home is lonely, but you are infinitely lone­ lier, say again, “Thou art with me.” I am not sure but this is the sweetest word in the whole Bible, “T hou art with me .” It is not only a cure for all fears, it is a cure for all sorrows, all disappointments, all bereavements. What difference does it make whether it is in the “pastures of tender grass” or in the “valley of the shadow of death” if He is there? Ruther­ ford once exclaimed, “Lord Jesus, I would rather be in hell with Thee than in heaven without Thee, for if I were in hell with Thee, that would be heaven to me, and if I were in heaven without Thee that would be hell to me.” Note that it is not until the Psalmist gets into the “valley of the- shadow of death” that he speaks of the Shepherd’s personal presence. He speaks of His grace and His feeding, and His guidance, etc., before this but when he gets

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