Summary: This is sermon #5 of the 23rd psalm. It focuses upon how GOD goes with us through our dark valleys.
Sermon Series: Sermons from Psalm 23
Sermon #05: God’s Answer to Dark Valleys
Scripture Ref: Psalm 23:1-6
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 & THY staff, they comfort me.’
In Verse 4 of this psalm there is a DRAMATIC CHANGE.
In Verses 1-3 the SHEEP are TALKING to the OTHER SHEEP across the fence, telling them HOW GOOD their SHEPHERD is to them.
BEGINNING in Verse 4 the SHEEP are TALKING to THEIR SHEPHERD.
‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for THOU art with me, THY rod & THY staff, they comfort me.’
There is an old ARAB PROVERB that says: “All sunshine & no rain makes a desert.’ If we NEVER have any DOWN TIMES or any DARK TIMES or any GLOOMY TIMES in our lives, then OUR LIVES will be ALL DRIED UP.
We’ll have NO DEPTH to OURSELVES & NO MATURITY. It takes the GOOD TIMES & the BAD TIMES to bring us into MATURITY. Each of our LIVES are a MIXTURE of PAIN & of PLEASURE, & of FAILURE & VICTORY & of SUCCESS & of MOUNTAIN TOPS & of VALLEYS.
This morning we’re going to take a LOOK at GOD’S ANSWER to the STRESS that comes from the DARK VALLEYS of OUR LIVES.
Even in our DARKEST VALLEYS & even in our DARKEST DAYS GOD is ALWAYS THERE.
Psalm 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for THOU art with me, THY rod & THY staff they comfort me.’
In the land of ISRAEL there is a real VALLEY of the SHADOW of DEATH.
It is a DEEP & a STEEP & a very NARROW CANYON..
The SUN only HITS the BOTTOM of it when it is DIRECTLY OVERHEAD at HIGH NOON.
The rest of the time the CANYON is PITCH DARK. DAVID probably led his SHEEP through this DARK VALLEY many times when he was a YOUNG SHEPHERD tending his FATHER’S SHEEP.
As we LOOK in the BIBLE we find that the WORD VALLEY refers to ALL KINDS of ROUGH TIMES in OUR LIVES.
JOSHUA talked about the VALLEY of CALAMITY.
In Psalm 84 it speaks about the VALLEY of WEEPING.
The OT PROPHET, HOSEA, spoke of the VALLEY of TROUBLE.
Psalm 23: 4 DAVID refers to this VALLEY of DEATH or in the HEBREW it means, the VALLEY of DEEP DARKNESS; a FEARFUL DARKNESS.
I mean there are some VALLEYS & then there are some FEARFUL LIFE CHANGING VALLEYS.
HOW do we BEGIN to HANDLE the VALLEYS of OUR LIVES?
This morning I want us to take a LOOK at 5 FACTS about VALLEYS we need to REMEMBER when we’re going THROUGH some HARD & some DIFFICULT TIMES.
#1: VALLEYS ARE INEVITABLE:
VALLEYS are going to HAPPEN so we might as well learn to EXPECT THEM.
EACH of us have either JUST COME OUT of a VALLEY or we are IN A VALLEY RIGHT NOW or else a VALLEY is JUST AROUND the NEXT CORNER.
That’s HOW COMMON VALLEYS ARE.
VALLEYS HAPPEN THROUGH OUR LIVES ONE AFTER ANOTHER.
We all ENJOY MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCES but AFTER EVERY MOUNTAIN there is a VALLEY.
JESUS was VERY HONEST about the VALLEYS of LIFE.
In John 16:33 HE said, “In this world you will have TROUBLES & TRIBULATIONS.”
It’s NOT a MATTER of IF we’re going to WALK THROUGH a VALLEY but rather WHEN we’re going to WALK THROUGH a VALLEY.
VALLEYS are going to happen.
Job 14:1 ‘Man that is born of a woman is of few days & full of trouble.’
We’re ALL going to have some DIFFICULTIES & some DISSAPOINTMENTS & some DISCOURAGEMENTS in OUR LIVES.
There will be TIMES of SUFFERINGS & of SORROWS & of SICKNESSES.
There will be TIMES of FRUSTRATIONS & of FAILURES & of FEARS.
They’re going to HAPPEN because they are a NORMAL PART of OUR LIVES.
#2: VALLEYS ARE UNPREDICTABLE:
VALLEYS cannot be TIMED or PLANNED or SCHEDULED.
The MAJORITY of TIME, WHEN VALLEYS COME they COME to us UNEXPECTEDLY & WITHOUT any sort of WARNING.
ONE MINUTE the SKIES are BLUE & the SUN is SHINING & the BIRDS are CHIRPING & the NEXT MINUTE the DARK CLOUDS APPEAR & we have to RUN for SHELTER.
They GENERALLY seem to COME at the WORST TIMES & WHEN we are the LEAST PREPARED for them:
Have we ever had a FLAT TIRE at a GOOD TIME?
Have we ever LOST A JOB at a GOOD TIME?
Have we ever been in a HOSPITAL at a GOOD TIME?
Does our MOTHER IN LAW ever come at a good time?