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psalm 23:4-6 Conquering fear in the valley

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Securing courage of the mount when walking through fear in the valley...


I love word studies and context!


If not read in its proper context, scripture can lose its relevance and application. The Bible is a collection of books that, if glossed over and not studied appropriately, run the risk of being misinterpreted. In this case, the text may not connect with the reader, the overarching ideas may be lost in translation, and the central themes may be lost altogether. We must always be careful to read scriptures in their proper context.

Word studies are important when reading scripture, especially when dealing with kingdom keys that are necessary for us to overcome our daily fears and failures. The power to unlock the promises and promotions in God are hidden in the Word of God. Why hidden? Jesus answers this question. Why is He so guarded about the truth of the gospel that He commanded us to share with all creation?

Jesus spoke in parables as a way to test the condition of a person’s heart (Mark 4:10-12). Those who genuinely sought Christ for the right reasons were given access to the knowledge of truth. Those who sought to deceive Christ for their own gain were left to the folly of their own confusion. For those who truly desire to have a personal relationship with Jesus, Luke 8:17 reveals that all hidden things will be manifest and every secret will come to the light.

This is all good and well but what does word studies and context have to do with fighting against our fears in the valley? What is the valley? I’m glad you asked! Though you may not be able to read Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, there are excellent tools like BibleHub.com that provide additional context, commentary, and defining ideas that help us break down the scriptures into bite sized morsels of truth that further enable us to embody the truth’s we are reading.

For example, how is fear defined? How is the valley defined? How do we apply what happened thousands of years ago to our lives today? What biblical characters can we study that will show us real examples of the benefits and consequences of conquering or submitting to our fears? One popular example is king David, the fearless shepherd boy who became a courageous and beloved king.


Do not fear man but reverence God!
Do Not Fear The Valley

The fearless shepherd & courageous king


Biblically, David represents a “type” or foreshadowing of Christ. In that capacity, he represents a profound yet practical working relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep. A shepherd and a king both represent headship, protection, and provision. The sheep represent people or the citizens of the kingdom of God who have chosen Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and rest (in the green pastures) of His guidance, protection, and provision.

Sheep won’t follow any voice other than their shepherd’s. Sheep don’t entertain a stranger’s call. Though sheep are loyal, they tend to be clumsy and carefree, needing the care of their cultivator to keep them from falling into a rushing river or carnivorous predator. Christ is the perfect peace, protector, and provider that we, His people need. We must not entertain the voice of false prophets, predators, paranoia, and problematic appetites.

When David wrote this Psalm, his reality wasn’t that different from our reality. There were times when he walked through his generation's valley of dreadful darkness. But his time as a shepherd prepared him to remain steadfast in the face of danger. He killed a lion and a bear while defending his flock. Defeating Goliath was no different a task for the young and fearless shepherd.

David understood that war is a time to constantly be prepared and aware of these things. What things? Those things that initiate fear and intimidation. Those unseen unknowns that lurk in the shadows of our suspicions and prowl in the wilderness of our lives. As shepherd and king, David was experienced in the art of the wilderness. He faced off against the danger of giants and the disapproval of men.


Modern Giants & Trolls


How do we translate David’s giants and disapproval into today’s trolls and traumas? Our modern foundation of fear and retaliation is settled in similar circumstances. Our giants may not be Nephilim but they exist in the forms of corporate greed and economic bias. The disapproval of others is strong and aggressive in the world today. Unfortunately there are those who may be sensitive about their beliefs and values but are extremely abrasive towards someone else’s.

Prejudice and ignorance are a troll's pitchfork and sling-shot. Propaganda and pride are the tools these wicked troll’s and giants utilize to inspire fear and dread in those they oppose. This reminds me of John the Revelator and his illustration in the book of Revelation of the iniquitous city of Babylon the Great. His description of her doesn’t just refer to a specific city at a specific time but is a type and system of wicked rebellion led in opposition to the new Jerusalem.

After extensive research, it is my belief that John’s reference to Babylon the Great wasn’t just recalling a place that existed in history but is an allusion to every immoral and ungodly system opposed to the kingdom of God. New Jerusalem isn’t just a new city in Israel but the body of Christ which consists of every believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the kingdom of darkness versus the kingdom of light.

We see this repeated in waves throughout history as each generation becomes subject to the principalities of their generational Babylon. Babylon the Great is the perpetuation of the dark valley of death; this world's demonic systems which are in rebellion against the Lord and His kingdom citizens. The valley of the shadow of death isn’t just a physical place where harm can occur. This valley is the realm of terror, trauma, and dysfunction that affects our mind and hinders our will.


conquering fear in the valley


Let's examine Psalm 23:4-6, studying ways to conquer fear in the valley...


Psalm 23:4-6


4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Let’s do a word study with some key terms from Psalm 23:4-6…


walking in the intimacy of perfect peace (verse 4)


Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


To walk (Hebrew halak (haw-lak’) To go, come, walk. Strong’s Concordance 1980.) is to go. As we walk, we go forward (not remaining stagnant or turning back) but steadily increasing in our access to what's ahead as we follow Christ. We do not move aimlessly but are accompanied by the LORD as He parades us along the paths of righteousness that He guides us along for His name's sake.

Even in the valleys (Hebrew gay (gah’-hee) A valley; the land between. Strong’s Concordance 1516.) of life, the sunken places of uncertain threats between here and there, we are to move steadily and assured that there is no need to fear the evil that dwells in those dark places. Light cannot be hidden by the deep darkness of the valley of the shadow of death (Hebrew tsalmaveth (tsal-maw’-veth) Death-like shadow; deep shadow. Strong’s Concordance 6757.) but boldly exposes it. Oppression, anxiety, depression, distress, extreme danger, and deaths glare cannot overcome the perfect peace of Christ without your permission.

You must give access to worry in order for it to infiltrate your peace. Consider a boat in a storm. The boat was designed to float, weathering restless waves and storms. Violent tides can rock the boat but the ship doesn’t sink until enough water gets inside the boat. We are like boats, designed to walk in God’s perfect peace. The only turmoils that should be able to trouble us are the thieves that we allow into our pastures of peace. It may not be voluntary but access is entry all the same.

To intimately know the LORD is to wholly trust in His rod (Hebrew shebet (shay’-bet) A rod, staff, club, scepter, tribe. Strong’s Concordance 7626.) and staff (Hebrew mish’enah (mish-ay-naw’) A support, and staff. Strong’s Concordance 4938.) We must remain comforted in His ability to not only guide us but shield us. His rod of correction is a scepter of power and authority that no evil could resist.

As His sheep, we are gently corrected when we go astray. But God’s wrath towards His enemies is awesome in finality. Those who would attack His flock (citizens) are asking for His mighty smite. His staff is a regal walking stick, a supporting staff of sustenance that we can lean on as He directs us towards comfort and stability. Leading us into restful spaciousness, we only have to follow our Shepherd and King through the valley in the promise and safety of His care.

During this time of perseverance we can find comfort (Hebrew nacham (naw-kham’) to be sorry; console oneself; repent; think better when the time of mourning is ended. Strong’s Concordance 5162.) in the rod and staff of our Shepherd-King. In this valley we mature in the refiner’s flame of purposeful persistence. Not only do we grow in the wilderness seasons but we come to discover the comfort of forgiveness and reconciliation by way of acquiring a repentant heart and contrite spirit.


enemies will toast to our triumph (verse 5)


You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.


The LORD arranges and sets in order the tidiness of our lives as He prepares (Hebrew arak (aw-rak’) To arrange or set in order. Strong’s Concordance 6186.) or sets forth our legal case before the warparty of those who accuse us before Him. Covered in the Blood of Jesus, we are presented as clean in plain view of our accusers. In the presence (Hebrew neged (neh’-ghed) In front of; in sight of; opposite to. Strong’s Concordance 5048.) of our enemies, we are faithfully forgiven of all our sins.

Those whose words are sharpened like a battle-axe and launched like flaming arrows are themselves restricted, bound up at the table of our King’s repast, and forced to feast on our trial of absolution. We are now free from the opinions and trolling of others. The disapproval and resistance of others is futile against the truth of God! Stand on your word, as long as it's the Word of God.

Prosperous in the acceptance of the LORD, our ashes are blown away by the Redeemer Who anoints (Hebrew dashen (daw-shane’) To be fat; grow fat; prosperous; found acceptable with the ashes of our sacrifice removed in divine satisfaction. Strong’s Concordance 1878.) our heads (Hebrew rosh (roshe) head; chief; beginning; favor; summit. Strong’s Concordance 7218.) with the oil (Hebrew shemen (sheh’-men) Fat; oil; fertile; lavish; ointment. Strong’s Concordance 8081.).

The ointment of heaven lavishes our soul as it runs down front the summit of our crown to the soles of our valleys, fertilizing our lives with joy. New beginnings we can cherish, flowing in the Lord’s favor and abundance which overflows from my heart. My enemies are then forced to toast to the very cup they fought to empty but now overflows (Hebrew revayah (rev-aw-yaw’) Saturation; abundance; heart overflow’s. Strong’s Concordance 7310.) instead.


the absolute certainty of victory (verse 6)


Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.


Surely (Hebrew ak (ak) Surely; truly; without doubt; be that as it may. Strong’s Concordance 389.) and with absolute certainty, goodness (Hebrew towb (tobe) Pleasant; agreeable; good; pleasant to the higher nature and all the senses; happiness; prosperous. Strong’s Concordance 2896.) and mercy (Hebrew checed (kheh’-sed) Goodness, especially as extended to lowly, needy, and miserable; kindness of men towards men, in doing favors and benefits; Strong’s Concordance 2617.) will follow me all the days of my life.

God’s kindness is a mercy that gives me access to a life of abundance. Without fail, I will be pursued (Hebrew radaph (raw-daf’) to pursue, chase, persecute as in putting to flight a losing foe. Strong’s Concordance 7291.), even chased with prejudice, by all that is pleasant and agreeable. This type of pursuit drives out anything that isn’t like Christ. Such a pure love surely causes the person pursued to relinquish everything that would offend or separate them from their pursuer, especially the Lord.

In Christ, this life will be worth living until we are returned to the highest form of existence. That being in the house of the LORD, forever in the eternal bliss of HIs perfect love. Until we can dwell (Hebrew shub (shoob) To turn back, return. Strong’s Concordance 7725.) with Christ in our glorified bodies with the new heaven and earth, we must continue turning to the Lord for all our needs. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we must not fear but walk courageously forward in the power and prosperity of our Shepherd-King.


how will you conquer the fear in your valleys?


Everyday we deal with people and priorities that may hang over us like a dark cloud. You may have a child in rebellion or a coworker in resistance but remain steadfast in your godly character and reinforcement. There may be demonic agendas affecting our local policies, industries, and schools but prayer and petition works. You may be afraid of starting that business or writing that book but give it to God and let Him guide you through the process. You may even be exposed to physical harm but prepare a plan of prevention, keep your friends close, and trust in God’s intervention.

Regardless of the valley of darkness you find yourself traversing, remember that you are not alone. The Lord, your Shepherd and King is with you. The Holy Spirit is within you, guiding you and keeping you on the right track morally. Because you follow the voice of your Shepherd, He is obligated to make you lie down in green pastures. Because Jesus is your Lord and Savior, He is obligated by His Word to avenge you, protect you, and provide for you.


Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.

Thank You and God Bless!

Thank you for reading this blog. Your support and contribution is treasured here. Please continue to share this content so that God may work through us to be a benefit to others. I invite you to leave a comment and stay tuned in for the next blog. I pray that this blesses you and honor’s God. Let’s continue growing together as kingdom citizens in Christ. Show love, be kind, and trust in God. Thank you and God bless.


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