Confidence in Times of Crisis | Short Sermon Series
David tells us how to be fearless in adversity. He tells us that even in the valley of the shadow of death, he didn't dread the distress he would face or cringe in the face of crisis.
In v. 4 (of Psalms 23) , David says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." First, he speaks of God's nearness, His presence. When you step into your valley, and it's so dark you can't even see the path ahead, and the possibility that there are predators and enemies laying in wait for you, your Shepherd has something He wants you to hear: I will be with you. Don't turn to drugs or resort to drink or find some other substitute that you think will help you get through this valley. All you need is your Shepherd.
A shepherd's rod was a two-foot club made of oak, with a rounded head that was whittled from the knot of the tree and had sharp bits of metal pounded into it. This club was used to defend the flock against attacks. It pictures the shepherd's power, wielded against overpowering enemies. David said he had no fear in adversity because of the comfort of God's power, protecting him from that which would ruin him. And you need not fear. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4).
Your staff . . . comforts me, he said. He was referring to the shepherd's crook, with its hook on one end. A good shepherd would use it to guide the sheep, lest they stray away. Just a gentle tap of the staff on a lamb's side would move them back in the fold. And the crook could gather up a sheep from a place where it might have fallen. David felt comforted that his Shepherd was guarding his steps, making sure that he made it through the darkness safely.
David was supremely confident, not only about his present circumstances, but of grace in the future that would see him all the way home. He believed that valley times were appointed for His good. He learned things about God that could be learned no other way in the deep ravines of life. He stayed close, trusted in God's protection and guidance all the way. All because he could say, "The Lord is my shepherd."
Short Sermon Adapted from “Sermon: Confidence in Times of Crisis - Psalm 23” from lifeway.com