I am a walker. Early in the morning, I’m out walking. It’s a good way for me to begin the day. But one day I’m going to take my final walk, and so will you. I’m going to talk about that today.
In the 23rd Psalm, we read in verse 4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” Undoubtedly that is one of the most comforting and reassuring phrases in this Psalm. As a pastor, I have read that Psalm at the bedside of those who were ill, and I have read it at scores of funerals. In discouraging times people are encouraged by the Twenty-third Psalm. They love to hear it when times are tough. “Yea, though I walk…”
This word “walk” is a Hebrew verb that means “to go, or come; to travel; to walk around,” and in a general sense it can simply mean “to live” (the comings and goings of life).
Now we walk around a lot in the course of life. But here the Psalmist has a particular walk in mind. It’s the final walk – when we go through the doorway of death into our eternal existence. When we walk around the house or down the street we’re in comfortable surroundings – we’ve done it before and everything is familiar. But this walk is different. We only do it once, and it’s unfamiliar territory. We’ve never been there before, and we can be very apprehensive – even frightened. That’s why the Psalm is so very comforting!
The Shepherd died for our sins and rose again in victory over death. So He’s been there before, and He knows the way to eternal life through the doorway of death. Therefore, if the Shepherd is with us on that walk, there is no need to fear. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
Say – sometimes we make that walk unexpectedly, so don’t be unprepared. It is downright frightening without the Shepherd!