Shepherd of the Valley: Trusting Jesus To Lead

Shepherd of the Valley: Trusting Jesus To Lead

Psalm 21 – 40


It’s the most memorized Psalm in the Bible, and for some the last words they will ever hear before they die — Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd”

Can you raise your hand if you’ve memorized Psalm 23? Let me tell you, there are a few Psalms you definitely want to memorize before you hit a time of trouble — and Psalm 23 is one of them.


Using the imagery of sheep and shepherd David describes three things about God: His Providence for our physical needs, His Protection from unknown evils, and His Promises of future blessings which are poured out upon His people. I call them the “3P’s” of Psalm 23:

  1. Providence
  2. Protection
  3. Promises

These are the three “P’s” of Psalm 23, which will carry God’s people through the end of time:

The first P is Providence:  When we can’t buy or sell (as Revelation predicts) because the Central Banks have shut down your digital accounts and we are living in a cashless society — it is then that you need to know that you serve a God who can and will provide for your physical needs. He fed Elijah, He watered Israel in the wilderness, He provides homes for the sparrows, and we can know for certain He will not forget to provide for us at the end.

The second P is Protection: When you are persecuted (As Jesus said would happen to all true Christians) simply because you are not willing to sacrifice your allegiance to God’s commandments it is then that you need to know that you serve a God who can protect you and your family from the darkest evil that may come against you. And…

The third P is Promises: When the time of trouble stretches longer than you had imagined and there is a delay in the second coming of Jesus, you need to know that you serve a God who has given solid and sure promises that can not fail, and resting yourself on these promises during those final moments at the end of time, will give you just the hope you need to stand to the very end.

The three “P’s” of Psalm 23 are given by God to carry us through the time of the end, but the 3

“P’s” also represent a roadmap for the end of time. Let me first show you the three P’s right in Psalms 23, and then I’d like to show you the end time Road Map.

[Psa 23:1 NKJV] 1The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.

Stop right here, if you read nothing else, you would have everything! The entire Psalm is rooted, grounded, and entirely dependent on this first line, because this is the truth friends, if you haven’t taken the Lord as your Shepherd at the end of time, there is no Providence, there is no Protection, and all the Promises of God are empty for those without the Lord as their Shepherd.

Pause for a moment right now and think about how you chose to solve problems in your life, and this will give you a glimpse into who is your Shepherd:

When something breaks who is the first one you turn to?

  • For some they say, I’m going to fix it — I am the Shepherd
  • Others declare, I’m going to take it to someone who can fix is — They are my Shepherd
  • Then there is a third group who brings everything to God in prayer, “Lord what should I do”, and for them — “The Lord is my Shepherd”

God may give you the strength to fix it, God may direct you to another to fix it, God may provide a miracle to fix it, but when we turn first to God when we have a problem we can’t solve or a question we have no answers for or a roadblock we can’t get around we are declaring “The Lord is My Shepherd”

Notice that David didn’t just say “The Lord is A shepherd” , “The Lord is THE Shepherd”, The

Lord is his shepherd, or her shepherd or Israel’s shepherd, or someone else’s shepherd — What did David say? “The Lord is MY Shepherd”…  

If God is only the Shepherd of others, or of all, but isn’t my personal Shepherd? I am not likely to bring all my little problems to Him, but at the end of time those who have taken the LORD, Yahweh, Jehovah as MY Shepherd, will be bringing all their troubles to the Lord — Big or


**1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV):**

   “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Are you doing that today? Are you bringing Him ALL your troubles? ALL your shortcomings? ALL your problems? There is nothing to big for God or to small:

Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV): “…There is nothing too hard for You.”

Luke 1:37 (NKJV): “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV): “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” and for this reason Jesus says:

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

   “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…”

What are we to do when we come to the Lord?

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV):

   “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Does it say cast some of your burdens, or only the ones you feel you can’t handle? Cast your burden in it’s entirety on the Lord, lay all your troubles at His feet. If the Lord is MY Shepherd He can take ALL MY burdens! He can handle ALL MY troubles.

Psalm 34:17 (NKJV):

   “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of ALL their troubles.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV):

   “Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

This is what I call an invitation to an ALL or NOTHING prayer life — You give EVERYTHING to


Nothing but the peace of heaven… and friends if we aren’t in the holy habit of giving God everything now, won’t we try to carry at least some of it during the time of the end when we should be giving it all to God?

Charles Spurgeon — “…No one can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” until he has given up every idle notion that he can control himself, or manage his own interests… by a little maneuvering, we think to extricate [free] ourselves from our difficulties… O beloved, surely it, needs but little teaching in the school of grace to make out that, we are fools… He who, is convinced that he knows nothing as he ought to know, gives up steering his ship, and lets God put His hand on the rudder.”[1]

So why not give up steering the ship right now? Why not give God the wheel and the rudder right now? Why wait until the time of trouble when you are facing real trouble right now? Do you want to carry the worry, stress, and fear? Don’t you want to have it all replaced with His peace, the peace that comes when ALL of your needs are being managed, ALL your problems are being fixed, ALL your fears are being resolved?

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV): “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Notice it doesn’t say “some” what does it say everyone? “ALL” and when God promises ALL He isn’t going to back out on you like those of us who promise more than we can fulfill. When

God says ALL He means He can handle the entire truck load! Is that Good News this morning? And I don’t want you to miss it, God supplies it all because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. Jesus PAID it ALL so God could SUPPLY it ALL. JESUS took our Debt in FULL so God could provide for our need in FULL. When we say the LORD is my Shepherd, we aren’t just opening our bag for God to fill it, like a greedy get all you can somebody, we are opening our heart to Jesus Christ and declaring that:

Romans 5:20 (NKJV) “… where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”

We get ALL not because we are great or good or righteous, but it ALL comes — how much? ALL — comes through Christ Jesus. Why? Because He is good where I was not, He is righteous where I have failed, He is perfect where I am faulty. To declare “The Lord is MY Shepherd” is also the place where I declare Jesus is my sufficiency — Jesus completes the vital points I lack and because of Him I can have ALL.

At the end of time, to know and understand that ALL is provided from my Father in heaven through Christ, is essential. Because the first major marker at the end of time will be a law that seeks to cut off your connection with Christ by cutting off your physical needs.

Revelation 13:16 (NKJV): “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,”

What is this Mark?  

[Rev 13:8 NKJV] “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life…

The Mark is worship! Most will receive the Mark, and the bible says all who are not in the book of life, worship the beast. The one you turn to in times of trouble, is the one who you worship! At the end, most will turn to the Beast to save their own skin — The Beast is their Shepherd!

But for those who continue to follow, depend upon, and trust in the Lord. For those who declare that the “Lord is MY Shepherd” the Bible says:

[Rev 13:17 NKJV] “…no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark…”

Now what is being cut off here? You’re physical needs! How many of you are growing wheat? So if you want bread what do you have to do? Go down to the store and buy it! No money, no bread. And for those who pay an electric bill, a mortgage, a water bill. No money means no house, no electricity, no water. Does anyone know what it’s like to be down to your last $20…

My first year in ministry, our family came to the place where we were literally down to our last pennies and didn’t have enough for groceries one month. We didn’t know what to do but we knew that God provides for His people, so we knelt down together and prayed for God to provide for our physical needs and who should come knocking on our door but our neighbor “Rory”. Now Rory was a woman of faith, and just as poor as we were. One day I caught Rory throwing all her furniture in the dumpster, and I said “Rory” what are you doing? She said, Pastor, I’m making room for the blessings! I knew she didn’t have money to buy all new furniture and yet in a few days someone else from the apartment complex moved out and she got all their new furniture! How many of you would have the faith to throw out your entire house of old furniture expecting God to give you new furniture? I don’t necessarily recommend following the Rory method, but here comes this woman of faith and she knocks on our door. We open the door, and the only thing she does is hand us money and walk away. Friends that money bought groceries that month and it was the result of prayer!

The first “P” of Psalm 23 is “God Provides — That’s Providence” — Listen to this Psalm.

[Psa 23:2-3 NKJV] 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

The primary duty of every shepherd is to pasture his sheep. He wakes up before the crack of dawn, gathers his meals for the day in a sack, gets his sling and staff, and a single coat of sheep skin to keep himself warm, and then opens the sheep pen and leads his sheep through the desert paths to the one spot where he knows the grass grows green and the water forms calm pools where the sheep can easily drink.

The sheep are dependent on the Shepherd for their food and water — So it was during the famine in Israel when Elijah was prophet and the Bible says:

[1Ki 17:4, 6 NKJV] “… I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” … 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.”

and at the end of time God promises us:

[Isa 33:16 NKJV] “…Bread will be given him, His water [will be] sure.”

This promise is repeated by Jesus when He says

[Mat 6:25-26 NKJV] 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

[Mat 6:28-29 NKJV] 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

At a time in earth’s history where you ability to shop at Walmart, or jump online and get an Amazon Prime order shipped or wander down to North 40 or Super One is cut off there will be a group of people here in Sandpoint who don’t need to worry about food, or water, or clothing — because God is able in Christ Jesus to supply ALL their needs.

How? Through a thousand ways… How many of you like Huckleberries? Maybe God will provide a huckleberry feast in the forrest? For Elijah it was a Raven who brought bread, for the 5,000 it was a few loaves and fishes multiplied, for the Widow of Zerphath it was a jar of oil and flour that didn’t run dry, for Israel it was Manna from heaven… the point is that God is able to feed His people!

[Psa 81:10 NKJV] “I [am] the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

Jesus says who is your Shepherd today?  

[Mat 6:33 NKJV] “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL these things shall be added to you.”

and friends when the enemy of God sees at the end of time that God’s people can’t be bought or coerced with money, the stakes will be elevated and we shall go through a valley of the shadow of death. I want to say, there are some at the time of end who will have farms, and produce, and livestock, and off grid homes and water from the mountains, and a storage of supplies to outlast Armageddon, but they haven’t made God their shepherd, they can’t say “The Lord is MY Shepherd” — but instead they have spent their life preparing to be selfsufficient! They will likely survive round one — the time of No Buy, No Sell.

But another time is coming after that time. Psalms calls it the time of the “valley of the shadow of death”. Jesus called it

[Mat 24:21 NKJV] “… great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world…”

Revelation says the Beast will:

[Rev 13:15 NKJV] “… cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be


It’s a terrible time for God’s people, a testing and trying time when evil is lurking in the darkness and threatens to swallow you up. Imagine a time when Christians will be hunted down!

It is then that Jesus said,

[Mat 24:16 NKJV] “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

When North Idaho preppers are forced to flee their farms and leave their stockpile behind, it will be then that we begin to realize that the only ones who will survive are those who have made the Lord MY Shepherd! While many will still be trying to save themselves during this time, the people of God who have learned by habit to bring every little thing to God in prayer. Those who have depended on God and learned absolute reliance will say with the Psalmist:

[Psa 23:4 NKJV] “Yea, 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.”

God’s people, even in this time don’t trust in their mountain homes or caves or caverns to save them. They know that there is no place on earth that a tech driven, GPS enabled, million dollar supported army with all the latest equipment can’t find you.

Right here in N. Idaho, there was a standoff not far from where we live now on Ruby Ridge where a man who   

From the Rocks of the mountains, like the Waldenses of old you will hear them say:

[Psa 18:2 KJV] 2 The LORD [is] MY rock, and MY fortress, and MY deliverer; MY God, MY strength, in whom I will trust; MY buckler, and the horn of MY salvation, [and] MY high tower.

Did you count how many times it said “MY”? Eight Times!

When you face persecutions, and life is closing in around you, it is then that you need the Lord to be MY Shepherd!

Jacob, when he was coming back from serving Laban for 14 years, hears that his brother Esau is coming with a great force and so Jacob splits his camp into two companies, sending them ahead of him. Remember Esau had been deceived by Jacob years before and had vowed to  

[Gen 27:41 KJV] “And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.”

With this fresh in his mind, Jacob lays down for the night when suddenly an apparent attacker appears next to him, and a wrestle for his life ensues. The fight continues until day break and Jacob realizes he is wrestling with the Angel of the Lord. Do you know what Jacob says in that moment?

[Gen 32:26 NKJV] 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

At the end of time, God’s people will face what is called “Jacob’s Time of Trouble” when they to will wrestle — not with military forces, but they will wrestle within themselves — asking the question: “Can God save a sinner such as I?” … They wrestle with their past faults and failures, they wrestle with their sins of deception and the decisions they have made that have led them to this valley of shadow of death. During this wrestling do you know what they are looking for? Like Jacob, they are looking for the blessings the Lord has promised! They are clinging to the promises of Jehovah!

They are saying through tears, Lord I will not let you go, until you bless me!

Until I see your face in the clouds

Until I see the promise of your coming

Until I see that the promise of your grace is enough for me

These are the one who will not let go of the promise of Jesus —  

[Isa 1:18 NKJV] “…Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow…”

[1Jo 1:7 NKJV] “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

This is why Revelation says of them:

Revelation 7:14 (NKJV): “…’These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’” and that brings us to the third and final P of Psalm 23: Promises

[Psa 23:5-6 NKJV] “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

and the good news is that immediately after Jacob’s time of trouble, we find that we will dwell in the house of the Lord, the New Jerusalem, Forever! The promises are sure friends — but only those who hope in the promises of God will be saved.


Story of Harvesting of Oranges —

Friends the only safe place at the end of time is the hands of Jesus. Today will you take the problems you are facing that seem like a mountain right now and place them in the hands of Jesus?