Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

Sunday, March 3, 2019 – Pastor George M. Dupree
 
This weekend we’re talking about how life can be very difficult and we can feel like all hope is lost. But we find comfort in Psalm 23 when it talks about the valley of the shadow of death…stay tuned.
 
 

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   The word SHADOW seems to have such an OMINOUS tone about it doesn’t it?   It’s kind of a shadowy word, isn’t it?     This is what it means – a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface:

  • A shadow is partial or complete darkness.

Here’s some things we say about shadows   A stranger slowly approached from the shadows.   A Doctor says I don’t like that I see shadows on your lungs in this X-Ray.   In the 1930’s the shadow of war fell across Europe

It describes inferiority or obscurity – he lived in the shadow of his brother all of his life.
 
Someone who’s been very sick for a long time is described as a shadow of his former self.
 
You feel frightened walking down a dark street because you think someone’s shadowing you.
 
You describe a timid person as someone who’s afraid of their own shadow.
 
All right, it’s not always bad – it can represent a faithful attendant – her little dog was like a faithful shadow, always following her – then she tripped over it and broke her leg.
 
The Psalmist uses the term the valley as the shadow of death.
 
What we have to remember is this – Shadows are NOT the real thing.
 
In today’s verse there’s a very important point for us to see and this is it We walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death, we don’t DIE there, we walk through.
 
In the summertime the shepherd will bring his sheep to higher ground for grazing.
 
As the weather changes he’ll move to the higher elevations where the winter snows have melted and the pastures are green and lush.
 
In order to get to the mountaintop they have to pass through the valleys where there can be dark shadows and streams that can be overflowing because of the melting snow above.
 
The streams and rivers can be a source of refreshing water but they can also be a dangerous thing because of the swift running water, the sheep can be easily swept away and drown.   But the shepherd is always with the sheep, always watching for danger.
 
The sheep says that he will fear no evil because the shepherd is with him. Isn’t it a comfort to have someone near you in a dark time?   As one shepherd said:
  • Every mountain has its valleys. The sides of the valley are scarred by deep ravines and gulches and draws. And the best route to the top is always through these valleys. Any sheepman familiar with the high country knows this. He leads his flock gently, but persistently up the paths that wind through the dark valley.

You can’t get to the mountaintop without passing through the valley.   Also, you can’t get back to the ranch from the mountaintop without passing through the valley again.   You may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death and be feeling like all hope is lost but it’s not. You’re just passing through.   Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.   To the Chief Musician with my stringed instruments – that indicates praising God   2Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—   2Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.   Tell these momentary light afflictions work for you.