In The Shadow of the Almighty
Psalm 23:4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
The picture David paints here is not just poetic, but something he himself walked through. Many times he found himself pressed, in hopeless situations, his life endangered, but in the midst of great adversity he always trusted in the Lord. In Psalm 91 he says in verses 1-4 1HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. 2I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! 3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. David knew that even when he was walking through the valley of the shadow of death, he was still under the shadow of the Almighty so he had no reason to fear. He was comforted by the fact that his shepherd offered him protection and guidance.
Psalm 91 continues in verse 5-7 5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, 6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday. 7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Verse 10-13 10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent. 11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. 12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. This pretty much covers any possible scenario. Terror by night, plots against us, an army that rises up against us, evil, sickness, plague, disaster, distress- anything that we may encounter in our lives we have been given protection from. I love the part where it says His angels will bear us up so we won’t even stub our toes on a stone! In order to receive these promises of protection we just have to do one thing- dwell in the secret place of the most high. We have to constantly stay in His presence. To dwell, to abide, to spend every moment of our lives in His presence will allow us to get to the place that we are unaffected by anything that goes on around us. You might say it’s not possible to spend every minute in His presence. What about work, school, our families? I’m not saying lock yourself alone with God all day every day, but you can stay conscious of Him, and stay in fellowship with Him no matter where you are, and no matter what you are doing.