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  • David

    February 27, 2020 at 4:14 am

    This is a profound life teaching that is gaining more significance as I grow older. I fear not death, but dying. I fear that the evil one will rob me of what I have developed over a lifetime. I have lived long enough to see it in the lives of others. Some die well, others become bitter or angry, or abandon their faith. I want to live fully, love deeply, leave a legacy, and finish well…. I want to die well. This interpretation of “the valley of the shadow of death” is helpful in that regard. The difference in those I have known who have died well is the level and depth of their faith and love for God and others. Faith and love does drive out evil, but here we see that the rod and staff of God (the good Shepherd) also plays a role. The Shepherd’s rod and staff have two functions. One is to drive out and defend the sheep from any evil (wild animal) that would do them harm. The other was to pull (hook them) and direct them back into the fold. I believe that the rod and staff are the word of God in the hands of the living God, Jesus Christ, and that He is always with me, protecting and keeping me from evil until the end of my life. Glory!