There’s Peace In The Valley (psalm 23:4) - The One Year Book of Psalms

There’s Peace In The Valley (Psalm 23:4)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1The LORD is my shepherd;

I have everything I need.

2He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

4Even when I walk

through the dark valley of death,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

5You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You welcome me as a guest,

anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the LORD


Joseph Addison was one of the finest English essayists of the eighteenth century. He dabbled in politics, but because he was shy and embarrassingly clumsy, he never went any farther than being a cabinet member. Once he tried to speak before Parliament, but he stuttered, stammered, blushed, coughed, apologized, sat down, and never tried it again.

F. S. Boreham notes that there were two things Addison was passionately fond of. He loved the fields and streams of his home county, and he loved Psalm 23. In fact, Addison wrote paraphrases of both Psalm 23 and Psalm 19, which were published in The Spectator Magazine in 1712.

Addison had learned Psalm 23 at his mother’s knee. As a writer he always treasured its exquisite writing, and as a Christian he revered its message. Lord Thomas Macauley eulogized Addison in this way: “He loved the psalm which represents the Ruler of all things under the endearing image of a shepherd, whose crook guides the flock through gloomy and desolate glens to meadows well watered and rich in herbage.”

As Addison lay dying at the age of forty-seven, he clung to the promise of Psalm 23:4: “I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Knowing his death was imminent, he sent for his son-in-law, the earl of Warwick, who was a sheep gone astray. When the earl arrived, Addison said, “See in what peace a Christian can die.”

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,

Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,

By waters still, o’er troubled sea,

Still ‘tis his hand that leadeth me.


Notice the pronouns he and his, which are used five times in verses 2-3. Notice in the last three verses that the pronouns are you and your.

The rod was used to club down wild animals that threatened the sheep (1 Samuel 17:35, 43). The staff was used to keep the sheep under control.

From the Book:

The One Year Book of Psalms cover image

The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

Read Now