March 19, 2014
The word evil when used in the Scriptures often means misfortunes, troubles, accidents, and etc, as opposed to satanic or sinful things. Although in some contexts it could mean these also. Evil or bad things are generally accompanied by fear because human nature tends to fear (in the sense of dread) these things. The child of God who is fully committed to Him lives in absence of fear because he has learned to place all things in God’s hands and trusts the ultimate outcome to His perfect will. The Psalmist David expressed this in the Shepherd’s Psalm (Psalm 23) when he said: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” The word “want” here means to be in need or be lacking.
The Prophet Isaiah said of God: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3). Peace, according to the New Testament is a fruit of the Spirit and is a direct opposite to fear or dread. To further strengthen this grand promise the beloved Apostle John said: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
To love God is to have peace and peace is directly opposite of fear by its very definition. Therefore, a born again child of God transcends fear because love casts out (or puts off) fear. The Apostle Paul proves this in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This is close akin to what Isaiah said in the verse above: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”
With these promises in view it is easy to see how David could say in his Shepherd’s Psalm; “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” This past week several people in my circle of friends, including myself, have undergone major surgery. These all put their trust in God and had nothing to fret over or worry about because we all believed and trusted in our loving God.
As far as “the valley of the shadow of death” is concerned, I have experienced that too and I can truthfully say that I was not afraid. I saw the death angel standing at the foot of my bed about 15 years ago, ready to take me to the life beyond. I saw a tunnel of light that reached up into infinity and somehow I knew that I would have to go through this tunnel to never return to this life again. But in the last seconds before this actually happened, God saw fit to spare me and give me a few more years. I look back on this experience with a solemn comfort and peace, knowing that if God had not intervened all would have been well with my soul. I can truly say with David, that in the valley of the very shadow of death I felt no evil, for God was with me! Praise God!