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About the Writer:
Carol Ann

Carol Ann rejoices with enthusiasm in all God is and shares a strong passion for writing biblical truths in a matter-of-fact way. Her heart for sharing the power of God and the importance of our dependence on God and not on ourselves is her primary objective in all her writings. Carol publishes a bi-monthly newsletter "The Agape Light" and this article is an excerpt from the May/June 2006 issue.


Fear Not

By Carol Ann Caster

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me ”. Psalm 23:4

Most people are accustomed to hearing this Scripture read at funerals. It has come to be associated with the passing of a person from the realm of flesh while living on this planet, to the realm of the spirit world. However, the truest meaning of this awesome Word addresses a particular state of being right here and now. When David said he would fear no evil, he was describing the struggles and trials he was experiencing while on this earth. The Hebrew word for “evil” is “Ra” meaning “a wrong, a moral deficiency, mischief, misfortune, adversity, a bad thing which someone does, a calamity which happens to someone” and so on. It derives from the root word “Ra’a’ which carries a broad range of meaning designating painful physical or emotional experiences. In the moral realm, it denotes any activity which is contrary to God’s will. Therefore, it is understood that David could not have been referring to experiences encountered in the afterlife. Jesus brings clarity to this revelation in Matthew 4:15-16. Quoting the Prophet Isaiah, He reveals Himself as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy: “The Land of Zebulun and the Land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who were sitting in darkness saw a Great Light, and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned.”

The valley of the shadow of death is this world which is populated by a people who are dead in their trespasses and sins. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, came to this darkness to show the Way of escape from death unto Life. In Ephesians 2:1-10 it is written: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by Grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His Grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Besides “HALLELUJAH”! what then do we say to these things? If you are a born-again child of God who has been blood-bought and redeemed in Jesus Christ the Savior, you need never fear evil! Although your feet still tread the valley of the shadow of death, God says don’t be afraid! I AM with you! The Great I AM is there to manifest everything you need in every situation!

David knew His God. He knew Him to be a God of faithfulness and integrity. David also had an understanding of the provision that he had in God, thereby saying: “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

The Hebrew word for “rod” is “Shebet”. In the lesser sense, it means a branch or stick. But it also represents the scepter of a King. The rod was a symbol of authority in the hands of a ruler. So David was saying, no matter what evil comes near to harm me, Your Word oh God is the rod of Authority that is over all that concerns me. Your Word is the final word. Evil strategies may have been planned against me, but by Your Word I am delivered, I am healed, I am made whole. Because the Living Word of God is the Great I AM and is everything I will ever need, I will not fear! By the power of His Word, God extends His Hand of Authority on my behalf before my enemies and they must bow their knee to Him!

The Hebrew word for “staff” is “misheneth” and is derived from the root word “Sha’an” which means “to rest upon, to rely on.” It means “to place one’s confidence on someone or something.” The idiom is “to lean upon someone’s hand.” So David was confessing to God that not only would the Word of His Authority be set forth on his behalf, but he would be able to rest on the promise of what His Word had assured him. I’ll lean on the Hand of Your Authority Lord, and it will hold me up and keep me safe because my confidence is in You.

Oh beloved, the Lord our God says to you fear not! Though you may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be not afraid of any evil. You might pick up some of the shadow of that death as you walk earth’s way, but the Living Water will wash, refresh, and restore you. And His Authority will keep you. God is with you! He is for you! Believe His promises! Lean and rest on them!

May all Glory, Praise and Honor be His Forever! Amen!


Copyright © February, 2007 – Carol Ann Caster. All rights reserved.


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