"Yea, though I walk through the valley...

"

Reassurance of His presence

• 'I' and 'thou' enter the conversation

• Intimate discourse of deep affection

Annual cycle of a sheep
• Winter and spring sheep are with the shepherd at the home ranch v. 1- 3

• Summer and Autumn goes to an 'Higher Ground' and return 'home' as the winter starts again v.4-6

Move to 'Higher Ground' with Shepherd
• During summer Shepherd desires to take the sheep to a higher ground away from home ranch

• Upon the green meadows of mountain top sheep enjoy the intimate companionship of the shepherd

• As Autumn sets in they move back and reaches home by winter

TABLE MOUNT

Mahabaleshwar table mount

Mahabaleshwar table mount

mount

But before mountain top.......a valley

Valley of the shadow of death...

Why we need to pass through the valley
• 1.To enjoy the intimate fellowship and care of the shepherd we need to pass through the valley • 2.We get refreshed from the pure streams while passing through the valleys • 3. Richest feed is available in the valley. • 4. To humble us for spiritual maturity

1.To enjoy the intimate fellowship
• Sheep has a great desire to go to the 'mountain top' to enjoy the intimate fellowship of the shepherd.

• But it has to pass through the valleys
• Journey is extremely difficult

• Storms, flood,rock slides, avalanches,poisonous plants,predators,hail,snow,steep cleft etc
• But our shepherd is with us. Isa. 43:2,1Cor.10:13; Heb.4:14-15 • " I will not fear evil, for though art with me....."

2.It is in the valleys our souls are refreshed
• Here one finds refreshing waters all along the way

• Rivers,streams,springs and quit pool etc.
• Thirsty flock get satisfied here

• It is from here shepherd collects smooth stones to kill wild beasts 1sam.17:40
• These experiences helps us to comfort others. 2Cor.1:3-4. 2Cor.12:9

3.Richest feed is available in the valleys
• Richest and best forage are found in the valleys
• Essential for feeding mother( Ewe) and Lamb

• Here Ewe teaches lamb the way to the mountain top.
• It is a dangerous way. Det.8:2-6; 107:7;119:71, 67 • Still shepherd knows it is the best way to take his sheep to 'table mount'

4. To humble us for spiritual maturity
• Higher you go stronger the wind • Sudden winds even can blow the sheep into the valleys • Shepherd should know the direction of the winds as he takes them to the top

• Sheep will become strong and sturdy as it passes through the valley
• I will fear no evil because..... Det.11:12

Paul's spiritual Maturity
• AD 57 Paul said 'least among the Apostle' 1Cor.15:9 • A D 60. He said 'least among the saints' Ep.3:8 • A D 65. He said ' chief among the sinners 1 Tim1:15

It's in the valleys I grow

• Sometimes life seems hard to bear. Full of sorrow, trouble and woe. It's then I have to remember. That it's in the valleys I grow.

• If always stayed on the mountain top. And never experienced pain. I would never appreciate God's love. And would be living in vain

• I have so much to learn, And my growth is very slow, Sometimes I need the mountaintops, But it's in the valleys I grow • I do not always understand, Why things happen as they do. But I am very sure of one thing. My Lord will see me through.

• My little valleys are nothing. When I picture Christ on the cross. He went through the valley of death. His victory was Satan's loss • Forgive me Lord,for complaining. When I am feeling so low. Just give me gentle reminder. That it's in the valleys I grow

• Continue to strengthen me, Lord. And use my life each day. To share your love with others. And help them find their way. • Thank you for valleys, Lord. For this one thing I know. The mountaintops are glorious. But it's in the valleys I grow

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