"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." (Psalm 23:4)
"Yea, though I WALK,"
as if the believer does not quicken his pace when he comes to die, but still, calmly, WALKS with God.
To "WALK," indicates the steady advance of a soul which knows its road, knows its end, resolves to follow the path, feels quite safe, and is therefore perfectly calm and composed."
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"ANY darkness is evil, but darkness and "the shadow of death" speaks of the UTMOST of evils.
David put the worst of his case and the best of his faith when he said, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;" that is, in the GREATEST evil, I will fear NO evil.
. . . Again, to be under "the shadow" of a thing, is to be under the power of a thing. . . . Thus, to be under "the shadow of death," is to be so under the power or reach of death, that DEATH may take a man and seize upon Him whensoever it pleaseth.
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,"
That is, though I be so NEAR death, that it seems to others death may catch me every moment; though I be under so many appearances and probabilities of extreme danger, that there appears an impossibility, in sense, to escape death, YET. I. WILL. NOT. FEAR."
-- Joseph Caryl (1655)
"A valley is a low place, with mountains on either side. ENEMIES may be posted on those mountains to shoot their arrows at the traveller, as ever was the case in the East; but he MUST pass through it.
The Psalmist, however, says he will FEAR NO EVIL, not even the fiery darts of Satan, for THE LORD IS WITH HIM.
The figure is not primarily, as is sometimes supposed, our dying moments (though it will beautifully bear that explanation); but it is the valley BESET WITH ENEMIES, posted on the hills. The trusting believer knows he is not only PROTECTED in that valley, but even in the presence of those enemies, the Lord gives ABUNDANT PROVISION: his table is bountifully spread (verse 5).
(The Bedouin, even at this present day, often post themselves on the hills to harass travellers, as they pass along the valleys)."
-- John Gadsby (1851)
(All the above taken from "The Treasury of David; An Original Exposition of the Book of Psalms," by Spurgeon)
Levi memorized Psalm 23, along with all his pre-school class, under the direction of his beloved teacher, Mrs. Jennett.
As we listened closely, we discovered 4-year-old Levi had his own slightly revised version of the old King James English:
"for thou are TWITH me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,"
he recited faithfully, to our pride and delight .
The Lord, our Shepherd, was TWITH our Levi right to the very end, and abides TWITH him now, forever and ever.