“I Will Fear No Evil”
David was a man who had ample opportunities to fear. As a lad tending his father’s sheep he had come face to face with a lion and a bear intent on stealing a lamb. These turned to attack David, but he dispatched them both (1 Sam. 17:34-35). When, as a ruddy and inexperienced youth, he came “face to face” with a war-seasoned giant—Goliath, David looked [up] at him and confidently stated, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:46). Shortly after that, king Saul tried to kill David by casting a spear at him (1 Sam. 18:10).
When you consider some of the events in the life of this man David, it gives context to the words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4). These words have the depth of meaning that comes with having actually experienced walking through this valley.
It is true that today we are living in unique times. According to the CDC, WHO and others, the death toll associated with the COVID-19 virus worldwide is now over 500,000. In Clayton County there have been 79 deaths attributed to the virus. That is 79 souls that have left this life. It is a sobering thought.
Psalm 23 is a psalm of the preserving power of God. When God is my shepherd then my material needs will be provided. When God is my shepherd my spiritual needs will be provided. When God is my shepherd then the fear of evil is thrust aside by faith in God. Notice the words of the sweet psalmist: “I will fear no evil.” That phrase is inclusive of all the dreadful and most horrifying evils the prince of evil can contrive. Why? Why could David pen these words with such confidence? The next phrase tells why: “For You are with me.” The Lord was with David when he fought the lion and the bear. God was with him when he stood face to belt buckle with the giant. And God would be with him in that “valley of the shadow of death.”
Is there an evil that you are facing that is greater than God? Do you have complete confidence in the omnipotence of God? Can you say with all assurance, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”?
Psalm 23 is a tremendous encouragement for us today. But it needs to be more. It needs to be a personal challenge for us to grow in our faith and trust in God Almighty. It needs to be a commitment to become a more dedicated follower of the Great Shepherd. It needs to be a realization in my heart and mind that God, in truth, is restoring my soul. It needs to build my confidence that not even the nearness of death nor any evil can rattle my faith in my Lord. It needs to be a reminder that God’s goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23 is also a call from the inspired pen of David that I need to dwell in the house of the Lord in this life and for eternity.
Can you say with all confidence, “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”?