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 and thy staff they comfort me.
David wrote, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me..." David spoke truth by inspiration of God. He also spoke as a man who experienced the shadow that death cast during many times in his life. As a youthful shepherd, David looked death in the face of a lion and a bear and slew them. As a visitor to Saul's army, David walked into the shadow that irreverent Goliath cast, and walked securely out on the other side. As a soldier in Saul's army, David rode into death's shadow as he warred with the Philistines and came victoriously back to the joyful songs of his countrymen. As an anointed king, David fled from the shadow of King Saul as Saul sought to kill David. As a struggling father-king, David fled when his son Absalom sought his kingdom and his life. Time and time again, David walked down into the valley of the shadow that death cast, and walked through it to the other side.
Now view the old king -- survivor of lions, giants, kings, wars and rebellions. See him there on his death bed. He struggles. His body makes no heat. After walking through all those valleys and in all those shadows, he now walks into the valley from whence he will not return. He goes the way of all the earth. There is no discharge in this war, and he will be seen on earth no more -- the silver cord will be loosed, the golden bowl will be broken -- "David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep."
"I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me..." are not the words of a man who had not experienced that of which he spoke. He experienced shadows; he experienced the face of death, and finally death itself. But most of all, through it all, he experienced God's promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Amen and amen!
"When we carried over death's valley, we'll live on forevermore
"There to be with Christ our Saviour over on the other shore
"He will be the light that shineth throughout all eternity
"No more sin and no more sorrow when our Saviour's face we see." -- Charlie Vaughn, circa 1976
"I pass the gloomy vale of death, from fear and danger free;
"For there his aiding rod and staff defend and comfort me." -- Brady and Tate's New Version of the Psalms of David