The valley of the shadow of death. My dad once told me a great story of a father who had lost his dear wife in a premature death. He had that difficult ride back home from the funeral and repass with family and friends. Now he found only space , time and his only child. His daughter asked him, ‘Dad if God is so loving and kind why would he take my mother away so soon. The father continued his drive silently with no answer for his daughter’s probing and hard question. Until suddenly; an eighteen wheeler passed by them on the lonely highway. The father then asked his daughter; do you see that truck and the shadow following it? Yes, she replied. If you were walking on the side of the road which would rather be run over by the truck or the truck’s shadow? The shadow, she replied. Your mom was only hit by the shadow of death. Jesus on Calvary took the truck of death head on so that we would only have to experience the shadow.
Where is the valley of the shadow of death?
It is in Israel. It is a place where Shepherds would walk their sheep through to take them to higher and better pastures. The sheep’s eyes are on both sides of their head offering them superb peripheral vision. Sheep however have very poor depth perception. They can’t tell a crack from a deep ravine. They must use their ears as well as their eyes when following their Shepard.
One side is a wall of mountain while the other is a steep drop off of the edge.
The staff of the Shepard was used to scrape the edge of the cliff while the rod was used to beat the wall of the mountain. This would allow the sheep to stay between the two sounds and remain safe.