Read: Psalm 23
The ancient road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a narrow, treacherous path along a deep gorge in the Judean wilderness. Its name is Wadi Kelt, but it is known as the valley of the shadow, for this is the location that inspired David’s 23rd psalm. The place itself offers little reason to compose such a hopeful poem. The scenery is bleak, barren, and dangerously steep. It is a good place for thieves, but not for anyone else.
When David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Ps. 23:4), he was in a place where evil was an ever-present reality. Yet he refused to give in to fear. He was not expressing hope that God would abolish evil so that he could pass through safely; he was saying that the presence of God gave him the confidence to pass through difficult places without fear of being deserted by Him. He knew God was with him. In another psalm, David said that the Lord was his hope (Ps. 71:5).
Many claim to have hope, but only those whose hope is Christ can claim it with certainty. Hope does not come from strength, intelligence, wealth, or favourable circumstances, but from the Lord. Ps. 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” As Maker of heaven and earth, He alone has the right to promise hope and the power to keep the promise. Hope for the Christian is the certainty of being in Christ.