4/12/15: Pilgrim’s Progress (11) — Valley Of The Shadow Of Death
Sunday’s lesson took us through the deepest, darkest part of Christian’s pilgrimage…the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Though it led past the very mouth of hell, Christian knew this was the only road to the Celestial City — a road he would have to travel.
Flanked by a deep pit on one side and a foul swamp on the other, frightened by sounds of hobgoblins and dragons, Christian followed the narrow path through the dark. The sword that had proven so effective against Apollyon was useless against the disembodied voices of hell’s fiends, so Christian resorted to another weapon: All-Prayer. The students took a few minutes to share their personal fears with a friend and then we lifted these fears to God in prayer.
During the night Christian was encouraged to hear the voice of another pilgrim ahead of him. With that voice came hope — hope that God was still with him (even though he couldn’t feel his presence) and hope that he might have fellowship with this fellow traveler in the future.
Finally the morning dawned. When Christian looked back, he was sobered to see what dangers he had escaped in the night. But the way forward was even more appalling. Realizing that he never could have survived the rest of that path in the darkness, Christian continued with deep gratitude for the light (a symbol of God’s Word).
Reminding the students that King David had traveled the Valley of the Shadow of Death on many occasions, we ended the class by meditating on Psalm 23 with the help of Keith Green’s powerful song.
For application, parents, talk with your student about these two weapons that enabled Christian to survive the Valley of the Shadow of Death: persevering prayer and the light of Scripture.