“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
In the first part of this verse, we understand that David was telling God that no matter where he went, he went with the confidence that God was with him and he had no need to fear. Although most of us are not walking through dark valleys, our lives sometimes seem to have been overtaken by darkness and all of the evil that encompasses darkness. But since we know that God has not given us a spirit of fear, we need not fear anything the darkness has to offer. We are the light in a world of darkness—set apart so that all men and women would come to know Jesus.
The tools of the trade for a shepherd are indeed a rod and a staff. The rod he uses to prod the sheep and to protect them; the staff (that has a hook on the top end) he uses to rescue them should they end up in treacherous situations—like falling over a cliff. Imagine the rod and staff (through the Holy Spirit) that God uses on our behalf. His Word is the rod that prods us to move forward and as a reminder to deflect the influences of satan. The Holy Spirit is the staff that rescues us when we end up in treacherous places and we are comforted by the knowledge that, “He will never leave us or forsake us.”
If you are fearful of dark alleys or dark days or evil in the ways of others, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through The Word and know comfort and love from above.