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“She crouched in the shadows and silently hoped that her oppressors would move on down the road.” Doesn’t that sound like a quote from a scary story? It’s just the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about shadows. A dark place to hide when trying to escape from something evil.

Shadows are dark places, but they have positive benefits. Not that shadows are tangible. Sometimes the word refers to sadness and gloom. But it’s just an area where the light is temporarily blocked from view. And that can be good. For instance, a shady place gives protection from the hot sun. Or maybe it’s a place to hide from a pursuer, as in the example above.

Perhaps the most memorable reference to shadows in the Scripture is Psalm 23:4. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.”  I wrote a song based on that verse, which says “I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but I will never need to be afraid; for valleys lead to mountains, and shadows cannot hurt, and God will safely lead me on the pathway He has made.” A gloomy, hard place can have a positive connotation, right? Because God makes all the difference. When He is with us, we need not fear. If there is a shadow, that means that there is also light nearby. And He is the Light.

Here are some other uses of the word shadow in the Bible:

Job 12:22 (Amplified Bible): “He uncovers mysteries [that are difficult to grasp and understand] out of the darkness and brings black gloom and the shadow of death into light.

Psalm 17:8 (NKJV): “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”

Psalm 57:1 (NKJV): “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”

Isaiah 9:2 (ASV): “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

My friend, Ken Medema, wrote these lyrics: “In the shadow of Your wings my voice, with gladness sings. To You alone, Lord, my soul clings, in the shadow of Your wings.”

Are you finding comfort in God’s shadow today? Isn’t that a good place to be?


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