This old familiar Psalm was required memorization in my vacation bible school days. One truth about us is that often the things that are most familiar to us we take most for granted. Today a part of this Psalm was quickened to me in the Spirit and it made me take a fresh look at it so i will share. Also i will share some of the verses from the literal bible which many of you may not have, i had never heard of it till i bought a bible program for my computer but that translation often brings to light more fully what is already there.
Verses 1-3 in the literal;
Yahweh {is}  my shepherd, not I will lack.
2. in pastures of green grass He makes me lie down. to waters of rest He leads me.
3. My soul He restores. He guides me in paths of righteousness for sake His name's.
   Back to the King James, verse 4 is the one that was quickened to me, notice what it says.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  In this version the word through is significant. Because of the Blood of Jesus, to die, is to live.We are not going to stay in that valley, we will just pass through it. Another thing to point out is that David, while he was being pursued in the mountains of Judea by Saul must have passed through many valleys. He and his companions must have wondered each time if Saul's soldiers were up in the rocks or around the next bend waiting to ambush them. He was someone who knew as much as anyone that without the Lord there was no hope but that with the Lord all things were possible. Hopefully you can see that we are going through our own valleys of death in these days, which ever point above is applicable, we are passing through and not staying there.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. A rod and a staff , here is what the Strong's says about each.   Rod;  from an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, i.e. (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (figuratively) a clan:
and Staff;   from HSN5186; a branch (as extending); figuratively, a tribe; also a rod, whether for chastising (figuratively, correction), ruling (a sceptre), throwing (a lance), or walking (a staff; figuratively, a support of life, e.g. bread):
 You can make what you will of the definitions but here is what i take comfort from. My Shepherd has a rod to rule with and protect me from our enemies and a staff to protect me from myself!
5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup Runneth over.
 Saints, the Lord is in the process of preparing a table for us right now in the presence of our enemies, are you going to be there to enjoy it or are you going to hold on to this age like the people in Mark 14:17-24. As for me i want to be there and see the last verse of this beautiful Psalm be true of me. 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
God Bless,