“The God On The Mountain, Is Still God In The Valley”

August 24, 2016

Grand Tetons Photo by Howard Blichfeldt Click to enlarge
Grand Teton Mountains
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

“The God On The Mountain,
Is Still God In The Valley”

Message Summary: Today some of you may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Of course we consider our friend and his family from our opening paragraph and others in the deep clutches of physical affliction. We consider the folks in Louisiana with all the flooding and destruction. And just this morning we read about the destructive earthquake in Italy where people lost their lives. We think of so many being persecuted and those suffering and dying for their faith.

The song “God On The Mountain” makes a powerful assertion, For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley”. Indeed He is, no matter the circumstances of our personal life or the world around us!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known.
But things change, when you’re down in the valley.
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone.

We recently made a very difficult ministry call to a young man in the advanced stages of cancer and under hospice care.* His cancer was discovered earlier this year and in spite of surgery, chemotherapy and other conventional and unconventional medical treatments the cancer has spread. His cancer has severely disfigured his face and includes intense pain.

It was in an Amish home on a very hot day and, although they had a window air conditioner, it was not on so the room was very hot and humid. He had a tracheotomy, which kept coming out, causing great distress to the patient, his wife and other caregivers.

A group had gathered around him to sing, pray and read Scriptures, seeking to bring hope, encouragement and peace to the cancer patient.

But what I will especially remember was the profound sadness, fear and bewilderment of his two very young daughters as they sat helplessly at the end of the couch watching their daddy as he was cared for.

I am having trouble shaking that scene as an example of walking through the valley in the shadow of death. We have been praying for God’s special grace to be upon this young family at this very hard time. When I considered what these little girls are going through I thought of my own exposure to death, which didn’t happen to anyone close to me till my grandparents died.

Today we share a song titled, “God On The Mountain” which has ministered to both of us. In fact we have three different versions below.

In the Christian life the good times of health, abundance and peace are often likened to being on the mountain, especially a time when we are spiritually strong or revived. Many of us have used the term “mountaintop experience” to describe times like this.

On the other hand we speak of being in the valley during a time of testing and trial. We may call such a time a “valley experience”. Most of us have known both the mountains and the valleys of life.

The Good ShepherdToday’s Scripture text is from the most famous Psalm in the Bible, the 23rd. This is a Psalm of David and commonly known as the Shepherd’s Psalm. In fact Brooksyne quoted this passage, along with family members at the bedside of our Amish friend, last week. The Psalmist is drawing from his own experience as a shepherd and applying the concept of shepherd to His God. Perhaps he was calling to mind an ancient Scripture from Jacob’s blessing to his son Joseph and his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, “The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (Genesis 48:15). Interestingly Jacob was also a shepherd. A thousand years later Jesus draws from the same illustration declaring, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (John 10)

Psalm 23:4 Today let us consider a familiar portion from this Psalm. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” David had several valley experiences recorded in Scripture he might have been referring to. Prior to his becoming king his jealous and violent predecessor, King Saul, gave him good reason to deal with fear, uncertainty, and lack of trust (1 Samuel 27 for example). During a low point in his own reign he is essentially exiled by his own son Absalom and cowers in fear for his life. (2 Samuel 15). Many Scriptures indicate that David knew from personal experience what it was like to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

Psalm 23:4 But the latter part of the verse provides a great assurance and comfort for God’s children of all ages and throughout the ages, “I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

Today some of you may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Of course we consider our friend and his family from our opening paragraphs and others in the deep clutches of physical affliction. We consider the folks in Louisiana with all the flooding and destruction. And just this morning we read about the destructive earthquake in Italy where people lost their lives. We think of so many being persecuted and those suffering and dying for their faith.

The song “God On The Mountain” makes a powerful assertion, For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley”. Indeed He is, no matter the circumstances of our personal life or the world around us!

For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
The God of the day, is still God in the night

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for taking care of Your children like a shepherd that keeps watch over his sheep. When we wander astray You lovingly seek us out and bring us back into Your protective care. When we have need You provide for us. You renew our strength when we are weary and discouraged. You guide us in the right paths for Your name’s sake. Though some of those well-trodden paths are laid out in valley settings You walk alongside us, lessening our fear of the unfamiliar settings and experiences of our mortal life. Your provision of everlasting peace is ours to receive here and now and forevermore. Thank You for never letting go, through the calm and through the storm, for You promise to uphold us with Your righteous right hand. Amen.


* We pray for a special blessing upon hospice workers who devote their life to the end of life care. Lou Guiliano and Mark Pulliam are two long-time friends who serve as Hospice chaplains.


Corn for freezer 8/23/16Just before Brooksyne stored her 16 batches of corn in the freezer I took this photo of Incredible Corn. Fresh vegetables and fruit are now at the apex of the summer season. Due to a late frost large quantities of peaches are getting scarce but we hope to get some this week before they’re all gone.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God On The Mountain”   Video  Lynda Randle and Homecoming Singers

“God On The Mountain”   Video  Jason Crabb

“God On The Mountain”   Video  The McKameys  This is very country and the lead singer began singing in a group the year of my birth in 1954! She kind of reminds me of a colorful lady named Nina Moore who was in the very first church we served outside of Springfield, MO. I don’t recall Sister Moore singing but she had a strong personality and vibrant faith.

“In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul”  Video   Canton Junction

“Going Home”   Video   Canton Junction

“You Never Let Go”  Video  Guy Penrod

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back, I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear?

Today’s mountain photo was taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt and used with his permission.

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