“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:4-5.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
Today let us continue with your good Shepherd as He leads you on your way to freedom. You are still feeding on Psalm 23 and we are up to verses 4 and 5: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:4-5.
Let us turn to another Psalm of David that will give revelation herein. It is Psalm 40, it opens: “I waited, waited for the LORD and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.” David is in a very low valley of darkness here, he describes it is a miry pit of destruction, there seems no way out of that slippery slope in the deep shaft of the pit. But, you see, He waited on Me with urgency and called to Me and I brought him out to set him on a height (rock there is the Hebrew word, “sela” which means a high cliff). I put a new song in his mouth. Now let us go to line 12 and see how he got in that pit and what he did that got him out. “For evils beyond number have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; they are more numerous than the hairs of my head, and my heart has failed me.” He got there by his own failures and they have come back to roost, so to speak, the devil will make sure to pile it on. This sounds like the dark valley of the shadow of death that David talked about walking through in Psalm 23, for the wages of sin is death, but the gift is not like the offense, the free gift to you in Christ Jesus is My own righteousness and the removal of your sin onto Him. And that should make you sing.
In Psalm 23, you will notice that David declares he is walking through that dark valley, not that he is stuck in it. There is a difference, for there will be trials in this life due to Adam giving his dominion authority over to the devil and corrupting all flesh, but there is a way to overcome the realm of darkness, where the devil would like to keep you stuck, and it is the way the good Shepherd opens for you in the valley of trouble. Jesus is your hope. And He is the door.
But let us go on. Line 13 of Psalm 40 begins: “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; make haste, O LORD, to help me.” He calls on Me, which is always what you should do first, and he asks Me to deliver him and help him from those coming against him to injure him, “Let those be ashamed and humiliated together who seek my soul to destroy it; let those be turned back and dishonored who delight to injure me. Let those be appalled because of their shame, who say to me, “Aha, aha!” Psalm 40:14-15. Call on Me and do not run from Me no matter how you got into the dark valley of the shadow of death or into the pit of destruction. Whether you got yourself in there or someone else threw you in, Jesus is still there to lead you out and I will vindicate you because your righteousness if from Me, not yourself. The wisest move you can make is to hang onto Jesus no matter what, He will pull you out like He did when Peter began to sink in the storm.
So, how does David respond to that dark place where he is trapped by his iniquities and foes? He magnifies Me and minimizes the problem. “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! Let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘The LORD be magnified!’” This is worship.
And finally he acknowledges that he cannot get through this on his own, he keeps falling, “Since I am afflicted (anav in Hebrew, it means humbled, meek) and needy, let the Lord (here he calls on Adonai, and that is why in the text it is Lord and not LORD, the Hebrew word “Adonai” means “Lord” but it can be used for God or man, so you see, it signifies Jesus, who is God and Man, who died to be your salvation) be mindful of me. (and in Jesus I was and am mindful of you all, I sent Him to save you, to deliver you from your sins and failures and all the forces of the evil one, and reconcile you to Me).” Psalm 40:17. And how does David conclude, and pay attention for this is a key of David, “You are my help and my deliverer. Do not delay, O my God.” Psalm 40:17.
I would be pleased if you would see Me as your helper and your deliverer in every area of your life, especially from your own sins and failings, and NOT as your Judge who is displeased and disappointed in you. For I so loved the world, that I gave My only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. That is My Will for you! For I did not send My Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17. I never leave you or forsake you no matter what. The good Shepherd is at your side to comfort you and lead you out to the table of plenty.
If you will note, right before line 12 in Psalm 40, David lets you know how to get through the trials of this life, “You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.” Psalm 40:11. Cling to Me, cling to My Word, even when it looks the darkest, and I, the God of peace, Myself will sanctify you entirely; and preserve your spirit and soul and body complete, without blame at the coming of your Lord Jesus Christ. The good Shepherd calls you by name, and I am faithful to bring it to pass. I will complete the good work I have begun in you.
Always be mindful of Me at your side as your helper, deliverer, refuge, champion, hero, Father forever, healer, counselor, provider, savior, beloved, and friend. Not just when you are perfect and blameless, but even in areas where you have failed and fallen in ignorance, weakness, misdeeds, selfishness, and anger. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Pray to avoid temptations. In Christ, by the Blood of the Cross, I have reconciled you to Myself and cleansed you from all evil doing. See Me as on your side, as there to call on for help, and you will overflow in gratitude instead of cowering in the corner in fear of what shall come. Colossians 2:17. In Jesus, I have rescued you from yourself.
And what does David sing about the Shepherd when David got off the path of righteousness in which the Shepherd was leading him? “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:4-5.
What a feast I set before you! A feast of forgiveness, a feast of reconciliation, a feast of deliverance, a feast of righteousness, and the abundance of grace. And My banner over you is love. Song of Songs: “He has brought me into His banquet hall and His banner over me is love.” Song of Songs 2:14.
There is a lesson to learn in the dark valley of the shadow of death that will bring you out to the banquet. Do you know what it is? To become a worshipper.
I told My prophet Hosea: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak to her kindly upon her heart. Then I will give her את her vineyards from there, and the את valley of Achor (from the Hebrew word “akar” which means troubled or disturbance) as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-15. Do you remember how Israel worshipped as they came up from the land of Egypt? They sang the song of victory and triumph with timbrel and dancing. They sang, “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name.” Exodus 15:2-3.
Out of the wilderness, out of the dark valley of trouble (Achor), came a worshipper.
And when you became a worshipper in that dark valley of disturbance, the door of hope opened and I gave you a way of escape. “It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me Ishi (“my Husband”) and will no longer call Me Baali (“my Master,” Baal was the god of Jezebel and the northern kingdom, an idol). For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, so that they will be mentioned by their names no more.” Hosea 2:15-17. You sins and offenses I remember NO MORE. Covenant. I will espouse you to Me forever, yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion. And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness then you will know Me, the LORD. Hosea 2:19-20. For I am the LORD, your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.
I love you. Think of Me as your helper and deliverer no matter what. Stop cowering in the valley of trouble, in the dark valley of the shadow of death. A shadow never killed anyone and it will not take you down either. Step out of the shadows with your good Shepherd into My own marvelous light by being a worshipper in the wilderness until you see the door of hope open before you and I make your wilderness like Eden, and your desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in you, thanksgiving and the sound of a melody. Isaiah 51:3. Out of the wilderness, an anointed worshipper is born.