The previous four devotional studies from Psalm 23:1-6 are for those who have an ear to hear; those who are seeking relief from the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and those who are sheep, but have wandered away from the flock and are in grave danger from the enemy and may not even be aware of their position.
Trials and tribulations are an ordained part of a sheep’s life. David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Many sheep, if not most sheep, can only see the valley or the trial; and they are not aware, at least at first, of the “why” of the valley or the trial.
The Child of God needs conforming to Christ to become perfect (or mature) in Christ. Paul said the sheep have been predestined to that end (Romans 8:29). To bring this end about for the Child of God, God uses trials, tribulations, and even chastisements as tools to reveal who He is; as He revealed to David, “The LORD is my shepherd” – and who you are, “the sheep.”
The Sheep need a Shepherd to lead them, to provide for them, and to protect them; this Christ does for His Sheep. This supply is most clearly revealed in “the valley of the shadow of death.” It is here that the Sheep learn the Beauty of the Shepherd. It is here the Sheep learn:
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
And it is here that the Sheep learn:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
It is here that the Sheep learn they belong to the Shepherd and they are members of His Flock (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And it is here that they learn they are to walk even as He walked (1 John 2:4-6).
Fellow Sheep, we are on the journey to our eternal home. As we travel this journey, God gives us rest, peace, and joy in the process of daily sanctification.
Read Psalm 23:1-6 over and over again; and ask the Holy Spirit to apply the Sovereign Concept, the Shepherd Concept, and the Supply Concept to your spirit; wherein you will be encouraged, and praise will become your song in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Enjoy the journey and stay close to the Shepherd. He will never, never, never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:29-39; John 10:27-30).
Hallelujah! Praise the Lamb of God, our Good Shepherd, Great Shepherd, and Chief Shepherd.