After considering the fourfold affirmation about how the Shepherd in Psalm 23 cares and provides for those with whom He has a personal relationship (verses 2-3), let’s look at verses 4 – 5 which present a personal testimony of how God cares and provides for us.
It is one thing to know truth about God and another to actually experience this truth in the present experience we are facing. The psalmist declares “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Notice the change from “He” in verses 2-3 to “you” in verses 4-5. Both are true, but when the psalmist refers to his shepherd as you, it means he is addressing Him personally. He is saying, “Thanks for being here with me in this valley that almost feels like death.”
The shepherd’s rod and staff are equipment he uses to prod and protect the sheep. The point being, He is personally involved in seeing they go where He wants them to. He is not delegating this to someone else. He is there and is participating in what they are going through. No wonder the psalmist concludes, “they,” that is, the rod and staff, “comfort me.”
Jesus promised in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” The way in which the presence of the shepherd is assured is through the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that He would “ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
You as a believer are never alone or orphaned.