Encouragements for our troubled times No. 28

COVID-19 Series | Date: 01 October 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

Psalm 23:4-5

“Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over."

In verses two and three we see the shepherd providing for every need of the sheep and noted that our Good Shepherd, providentially and particularly provides for every need of His children. But, as a Good Shepherd, His care of His flock doesn’t stop there. The Good Shepherd also provides special care and protection for the sheep. Sheep are very vulnerable creatures and living out on the hills they had many dangers; wild animals and roving bands of robbers would all take sheep if they could. Also, invading armies would scavenge whatever they could for food or take the sheep as booty. So, the sheep needed to be watched over and protected from all these dangers; and that’s what the psalmist is alluding to here.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” A valley can be a very dangerous place for a sheep to find itself. Walking through that valley with its high rocks on either side affords any predator the perfect hiding place from which to mount an attack. If they are working in a group, they can cut the sheep off at the front and back and leave it no way of escape. Now, sometimes the sheep would have no option but to pass through that valley where the shadow of death looms over from every rock. But this sheep has no need to worry or fear any evil, why; “for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” The shepherd is by their side and will protect them from any adversary. And he has his rod to protect them from making mistakes by correcting and guiding them. And he has his staff to beat off any predators and protect them from their foes. What a beautiful picture of our Lord’s care and protection of us. He is not only our Shepherd but our Good Shepherd who has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be by our side when we have to walk through those valleys where the shadow of death looms over us; therefore, we need fear no evil.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The sheep, not only need fear no evil, but they can be in perfect peace. Here they are, led by the shepherd to a place where they can stop and take their rest. They can put their heads down and eat their fill of the green pastures; even though they have enemies all around them. The shepherd has provided this table of delights for them; and even though their enemies are all about, they can be at perfect peace under His protection and care. And our Good Shepherd keeps us in perfect peace even when we are in the midst of our enemies. He pours on us, the oil of the Spirit, who comforts us and soothes away our fears. And not by measure, but our cup runs over with His blessings and mercies. If, our Good shepherds “is for us, then who can be against us.”

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4.