Walking in “paths of righteousness” does not protect us from the “valleys” of life, but we can be sure that the Lord Himself is with us and will protect us. Though we may be surrounded by what may seem to be the ultimate darkness brought about by evil, we can rest in confidence because we know that God’s presence guarantees His protection.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” wrote David. These two powerful words, rod and staff were not meaningless words – but words that describe the ways that the shepherds guarded and protected their sheep.
The rod was used by shepherds to beat away any external enemy that might harm his sheep. The “crooked” staff was used by shepherds to snatch his sheep from getting in harm’s way. So, here we have a picture of how our Shepherd watches over us. He guards us from any external enemy that would attack, defeat or destroy us. He makes certain that they will not come near us nor harm us because His arm is around us. Nor will he allow internal enemies – thoughts or ideas – that would cause us to doubt His love, mercy, grace or salvation to destroy the peace His presence brings us.
Our Shepherd’s rod and staff summarize His role and describe the ways He will care for us if we allow Him. And when we allow Him to become our Shepherd we can say with David, “I will walk through valleys and fear no evil! They will not overcome me.”
Prayer: Lord, give us faith to believe in the facts of Your Word that in Your strength we need fear no evil. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.