Faster than a Speeding Shadow

October 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Posted in Salvation, Selected Psalms, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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My grandparents lived in a house that my grandfather built with his own hands. Behind the backyard he kept a garden where he grew peanuts, watermelons, sugar cane, mustard greens, and various vegetables. Beyond this garden was a shallow ditch, and beyond that, a set of railroad tracks. When the train came every day, it moved very fast. My younger brother and I used to talk about jumping onto one of the cars as the train went speeding past, but, thankfully, we never had the nerve to actually try it. The closest we came was when we would huddle down in the ditch right next to the tracks. It is a thrilling and frightening feeling to have the shadow of a roaring locomotive pass over you, but the shadow of a train passing over is far different from having the actual train itself “pass over” you.

David the Psalmist once wrote about the shadow of something even more awe-inspiring.

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

Note that the Holy Spirit inspired David to write about, not the valley of death, but the valley of the shadow of death.

Our sins, and the sins of the whole world, had been heaped onto the freight train of God’s wrath (I John 2:2). That train was racing straight for us, and we deserved to be plowed into hell by the force of its judgment. Those of us, like David, who, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, have become the sheep of the Good Shepherd, may one day shiver in the shadow of death as it passes over us (John 10:11). However, the locomotive of God’s righteous vengeance against sin was re-routed onto Christ the Lord Himself on the Cross of Calvary as He took the punishment we deserved (I Peter 2:24). When you enter the valley at the end of life, will you be in the protective shadow of God’s covering (Psalm 91:1), or will you stand alone on the tracks, having made the fatal mistake of rejecting the Savior?

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  1. […] is true in the green pastures (Psalm 23:2), and it is true in the darkest valleys (Psalm 23:4). But the Bible is very specific in telling us that the Shepherd leads the sheep. Since […]

  2. […] before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross […]

  3. […] soul. We tend to talk about the Lord when things are going great. Sometimes, though, it takes a valley of shadowy death to make us talk to […]

  4. […] shadow of death had fallen across David’s path many times in his life, but death itself had not struck him […]

  5. […] We must stay close to the Lord in the green pastures (times of freedom) and especially in the dark valleys (times of caution). Sheep can be preyed upon by wolves and lions. Wolves and lions do not fear […]

  6. […] the mountain tops and in the green pastures. He is with us in the valleys (even the valley of the shadow of death). No true Christian will ever truly die […]

  7. […] Revelation of Himself 15. Presumed Guilty 16. Preaching and Praying in Prosperity and Predicaments 17. Faster than a Speeding Shadow 18. Sheep Need a Shepherd 19. Are You Feeling Sheepish? 20. The Shepherd Knows Where We Are Going […]

  8. […] people to God. Most people, whether they admit it or not, have a nagging sense that they live under the shadow of death – the awareness that life will end relatively soon and judgment awaits. God’s light puts death […]


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