“Reflection on Psalm 23”
Marty, Martin E.
"Context" newsletter, August 1 and 15, 1984
Ps. 23:4 "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil." Marty quotes Joseph Sittler: "The text does not speak of the valley of death but of the valley of the shadow of death. There is a difference. The valley of death is an experience through which we walk from this life into the life to come. To be sure, God will be with us as we walk through that valley. What appears in Ps. 23, however, is not a portrayal of the death experience and God’s promised presence in it. Rather, the psalm suggests that even while we live, the assured future arrival of death casts a shadow over us. It is as if this life tilts forward toward death; we walk in a valley now, the shadow of death covering out paths even before the experience of death comes. And God is with us now, too."