Summary: What To Do When You Go Through Dark Valleys ❶. Refuse to be DISCOURAGED ❷. Rely On God’s PRESENCE ❸. Relax It’s Only SHADOWS

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Japan’s Dark Valleys for Earthquake Survivors

A four-month-old girl was swept from her parents' arms in the was pulled 3 days later from the rubble virtually unharmed,

A 60-year-old man clung to the roof of his home was found 9 miles out at sea after being adrift for two days

Akaiwa rushing home from work found his neighborhood overrun with up to 10 feet of water. Donning scuba gear he slipped into ice-cold black water, navigating broken glass, downed power lines and splintered timber, and spent 3 days searching for his wife

He had to swim about 200 yards to her, which was quite difficult with all the floating wreckage and found her alive

His mother was unaccounted for and he spent several days wading through neck-deep foul water, He found her on the second floor of a flooded house where she'd been waiting for help

- Ps 23:4 the halfway point

- David now address the shepherd

- Now intimate with the words “I” & “thou“

Frightening Valleys

▪ A place of fear for sheep

- Shadows, echoes, hidden dangers

▪ A challenge to a shepherd

- Deep ravines, narrow paths, Obstacles to remove

- Necessary to get to the best pastures

- Valleys represent a departure from the routine

- Never appreciated seems endless & impossible

Two Around Jerusalem

1. Valley of Hinnom

Moloch was worshipped

- Children were burnt alive as sacrifices

2 Ch 28:3

Moreover he (Ahaz) burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

- Hinnom associated with judgment of sinners

Je 7:32

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.

- A section called Tophet - "fire-stove”

- Children were slaughtered there

2 Ki 23:10

And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

- After return from the Babylonian exile

- Hinnom Valley turned into the city dump

- Anything unclean (including executed criminals)

- Reason, a fire was kept constantly burning

- With all the filth and thick smoke it remained a very dark and dreary place.

- Heb. Hinnom into Greek is gehenna,

- The word HELL originated

Tradition suggest Judas Iscariot crossed this valley to a hill where he negotiated with the High Priest Caiephas to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver

Since Byzantine times it has been called the “Hill of Evil Counsel”

Today, the "Hill of Evil Counsel" is the location of the Jerusalem headquarters of the United Nations Troop Supervision Organization - UNTSO.

It is tragically ironic that both Judas and the United Nations are distinguished by the act of betrayal at the Valley of Hinnom

2. The Kidron Valley

- This has many burial sites

- Many believe that the resurrection will begin there.

For these reasons, the Kidron Valley was called the “Valley of the Shadow of Death,”

- David likely wrote Psalm 23 when fleeing from his son, Absalom across the Kidron Valley - 2 Samuel 15.

- Jesus when he was arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane, was brought to Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley.

- Did He pray Psalm 23 going across this Valley

Jn 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Valley Truths

- Shepherd has planned the trip

- He has designed it to be temporary

- The fear is greater than the reality

- The shepherd is always preset

- The shepherd is equipped to bring me safely through

- It’s never by coincidence nor by accident

- Remember v.2 He leads me

- Remember v.3 Guides me

Paul In Prison

Php 1:12

12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

Italics - which happened – not in the original

- Nothing just happens

- Note Job stripped of everything

• His children

• His wealth

• His reputation

• His health

• His self-respect

• His wife

- God did not cause it but allowed it

Valley Experiences Are Temporary

- Note v.4 It does not say

- Into the valley

- Over to the valley

- Down to the valley

- Up to the valley

- It’s through the valley – not a dead end

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