The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
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.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23 (KJV)
This psalm must be one of the most familiar and most quoted verses in the Bible.
To attest to its universality, below is a recitation of it, broadcast in the episode called "The 23rd Psalm" from the TV series, Lost. (reference: "Lost" The 23rd Psalm (TV episode 2006) - IMDb)
The words are comforting, especially during tragedy, trials, danger, dark days ...
And with the recent bombings of the Boston Marathon, this particular verse has precious meaning:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ...
At the finish line of the Boston Marathon was a scene of the shadow of death ... and fear ... and evil.
But there were also the heroes who feared no evil. And these heroes ran toward danger - not from it - to help those who were the victims of evil.
* Fear? *
Looking up the Hebrew word for fear - Yare' - used in this verse has interesting nuances that are lost in the translation. (Check out: Yare' - Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon - King James Version )
Fear not only means to be afraid, but it denotes a sense of reverence and awe, such as reverence for God. Therefore, this verse - fear no evil - can mean not being afraid in the face of evil as well as not reverencing or being fascinated by evil.
It seems in our 24/7 news cycle, evil has been given a world wide platform and megaphone. The clip above shows the strength of people responding to peril. But so often, news dwells on the negative, the sensational, the fascination with evil. And we are urged not to do this - give no reverence to evil.
Oliver Cromwell once said -
“I have learned that if you fear God,
you have no one else to fear.”
(reference: ttb.org - quotes)
* Do not revere evil, but revere God *
As showing reverence for God, this May 2, 2013 is
The National Day of Prayer.
(reference: 2013 NDP Theme | National Day of Prayer Task Force)
And may this latest act of terror turn our hearts to fear only God and fearing no man - especially a terrorist.
Please keep praying for America!
Previous posts in this series:
Pray4America (part 1) - National Day of Prayer (2012)
Pray4America (part 2) - FDR's prayer on D-Day (2012)
Pray4America (part 3) - FDR's Flag Day prayer - June 14, 1942 (2012)
Pray4America (part 4) - It's a Wonderful Life, America (2012)
Pray4America (part 5) - United we stand? (2012)
Pray4America (part 6) - Christmas in Iran 1980 (2012)
Pray4American (part 7) - For such a time as this (2013)
Photo from: Wikipedia - US Navy prayer