Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Jehovah my Shepherd

Psalm 23, In our study of this familiar Psalm, we will find a number of encouragements given to us by the Holy Spirit as David penned these words so long ago. They are just as fresh and just as encouraging to us today. We see that David has described for us the Lord as the Shepherd who protects and provides. The One who provides us with rest, refreshment, and restoration. He is the One who restores us and comforts us when we face the uncertainties of life. He provides for us in the midst of trials and difficulties, He enables us to serve Him, and He supplies abundantly more than we need.

Psalm 23:4

"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."


I. Place: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."

A. For the believer, death is gain.

(Phil 1:21) "For to Me to Live Is Christ, and to Die Is Gain."

(2 Cor 5:8) "We Are Confident, I Say, and Willing Rather to Be Absent from the Body, and to Be Present with the Lord."

B. A valley is a deep ravine or gorge.

1. It could be a valley of sickness.

2. It could be a valley of financial loss and ruin.

3. It could be a valley of disgrace and dishonor.

4. It could be a valley of bereavement.

5. It could be a valley of old age.

6. Or, as David refers to here, it could be the valley of the shadow of death.

C. Three causes of death for the child of God.

1. Believers work is finished.

(2 Tim 4:6-7) "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

2. Divine discipline.

(1 Cor 11:30) "For this Cause Many Are Weak and Sickly among You, and Many Sleep."

3. To Glorify God.

(Phil 1:20) "According to My Earnest Expectation and My Hope, That in Nothing I Shall Be Ashamed, but That with All Boldness, as Always, So Now Also Christ Shall Be Magnified in My Body, Whether it Be by Life, or by Death."

D. We are not to fear shadows.

1. Dying is only a shadow for the believer.

2. Shadow of a dog cannot bite you.

3. Shadow of a sword cannot kill you.

4. Shadow of death cannot separate the believer from life.

(Rom 8:38-39) "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

E. The only people who ought to fear death is the unbelieving.

(Luke 13:27-28) "But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (28) There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out."

F. It’s not the shadow, but the light that the believer focus on.

II. Peace: " . . . I will fear no evil: for thou art with me..."

A. The great shepherd will never forsake us.

(Heb 13:5) "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

1. When we are weak.

(2 Cor 12:8-10) "For this Thing I Besought the Lord Thrice, That it Might Depart from Me. {9} 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. {10} 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. When we are weary.

(Gal 6:9) "And Let Us Not Be Weary in Well Doing: for in Due Season We Shall Reap, If We Faint Not."

(Mat 11:28) "Come unto Me, All Ye That Labour and Are Heavy Laden, and I Will Give You Rest."

3. When others forsake us.

(Psa 27:10) "When My Father and My Mother Forsake Me, Then the Lord Will Take Me Up."

B. The only thing that settles the sheep is the presence of the shepherd.

III. Presence "...Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

A. Rod and Staff.

1. Rod speaks of authority staff of aid.

2. Rod for defense staff for direction.

3. Rod used to rule staff for restoration.

4. Rod used for enemies staff for sheep.

5. Rod used to govern staff for guidance.

B. His staff keeps me straight; his rod keeps me safe.

C. This is a type of God's Word.

(2 Tim 3:16) "All Scripture Is Given by Inspiration of God, and Is Profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness:"


The Shepherd provides comfort for His sheep in midst of the valley.

There is a place, a peace, and a presence