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Bible Study on the Valley of Death: Psalm 23 Devotional

It's hard to imagine that there could be peace in a world wrought in confusion, misdirection, ill intentions, and bottom line all-out sin. However, there is the silver lining of peace known to Christians. Even though chaos is happening around them, there seems to be this deep inner calm amidst the droning world around them. Life for them is like being on a continuous stage for the world to see, however.

There will be hardships, there's no sugar-coating it. But what are we to do when trials make us hit rock bottom and take everything away, such as like Job? This article will focus on trials through life's valleys and peace, and why Christians have an unshakable faith and how the nonbeliever can experience everlasting life.

Devotional Reading of Psalm 23:4: A Bible Study on the Valley of Death

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4, NIV.

Historical Significance of the Valley of Death

Some translations of the Bible will translate the words "darkest valley" to "Valley of the Shadow of Death."

  • This is not a contradiction.

  • What is happening here is a more detailed translation.

It's important to note the context behind scripture, as well as historical significance so the full illustration is understood as it was intended to be.

Below is a video from Rhoda and Sergio, two guides in Israel, that expand on the historical significance and context of this passage.

After watching the video above, I hope you have a more thorough understanding of why grasping historical context helps elaborate on the full story.

  • In the valley of Kidron in Jerusalem, there is a graveyard with modern and ancient architecture.

  • Many Jewish families will pay huge amounts of money to be buried here as it is held by custom that when Christ returns and enters through the East Gate, that He will pass this valley. Much significance is encompassed in just this one scripture.

The valley of Hinnom is known for gruesome sacrifices to Molech (also Moloch) and Baal (the same demons that are attached to abortions).

  • As the video mentions, the Bible illustrates that this part of Jerusalem will be like an "unquenchable fire" and that the children of Israel will look on and it will be like--not literal--hell (Jeremiah 17:27, Jeremiah 39:8, 2 Chronicles 36:19).

  • The Hebrew word for hell is "gehenom,"which is derived from "Gehenna."

After putting this into perspective, it's time to go into the weeds a bit about spiritual significance.

What Can be Learned from the Valley of the Shadow of Death?

Scripture mentioned in the paragraph above:"People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortress." Jeremiah 17:26-27, NIV See the full chapter here

"Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. The Babylonians set fire to the walls of Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him, and the rest of the people." Jeremiah 39:7-9, NIV See reference here"They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there." 2 Chronicles 36:19, NIV.

See reference here

  • The repeated lesson here is that when God states He will fulfill His word, He completes the objective in its entirety.

  • God warned the tribes of Jerusalem and when they failed to listen, He let them become slaves to their enemies.

  • The prophecy of the fire in Jerusalem's gates was fulfilled.

  • When the tribes of Israel began to split and become like other nations, God allowed them to become lost amongst them in punishment.