David in Psalm 23 continues:
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4)
I’m reading Tim Keller’s book, Preaching. In it he touches on some of the difficulties in reaching people in our culture. One of the difficulties is the resistance among some to the thought there is real evil. Keller writes:
You can quote Andrew Delbanco, a secular scholar at Columbia University, whose book The Death of Satan argues that “a gulf has opened up in our culture between the visibility of evil and the intellectual resources available for coping with it.” He argues that many secular people understandably attribute all human cruelty to psychological deprivation or social conditioning and, in so doing, trivialize the terrible wrongs people are capable of. — Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism
We cannot afford to trivialize evil. It hunts the vulnerable. It wants to rise within us.
In this psalm David is not afraid of evil even though evil is real. He is not afraid because the LORD is with him. This of course assumes that David is following this Shepherd, not fighting him nor trying to deceive him. Safety in the presence of evil comes from following the Shepherd, not from dabbling in duplicity.
So today remember Jesus’ words:
Peace be with you. (Luke 24:36)
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
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