While we are alive in the land of the living, the shadow of death and darkness is ever present among us. Sadly people only hear the twenty third psalm read at a funeral, but this beautiful psalm and all the words of scripture are for us now as we live, and they are words of comfort and a reminder of Gods protection over us “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. The dead need no comfort for they have passed from the land of the living. This life is the valley of the shadow of death and Christ is the light that shines in that darkness! The last verse of the 23rd psalm shows us it is for us now in the land of the living as we read “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” (John 8:12) 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
When Jesus was sought by the chief priests, captain and elders just before His trial He said to them how He was with them daily and they never went after Him, But now they are moved by the power of darkness and are against Him! (Luke 22:52,53) 52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? 53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness (Psalm 142:5).
In the land of the living we must be equipped with the full armour of God “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
The two angel’s at the tomb of Jesus confirms that even though our Lord passed from death unto life in three days, He has tasted death for us all and to this day He is the light of this world in the land of the living (Luke 24:2-7).
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:13,14).