Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (Ps. 23:4).

On the east side of the Hudson River some scaffolding was being erected beneath the George Washington Bridge. It had been necessary to double the capacity of the structure in order to support the heavy traffic passing from the North Jersey towns into Manhattan. They were going to swing under the present roadway a duplicate highway having eight more lines of traffic, flowing one way at one level and the opposite way at the other level. “The most crowded highway in all the world,” someone had remarked. I thought of that, and considered for a moment another highway which is infinitely more crowded than any other in all the world. That highway is death.

We are told that someone dies every eight seconds. That means that since you read the last sentence someone has closed out his account in this life to face God’s judgment in the next. Death is a part of life. And we fool ourselves if we think that we can escape the necessity of contemplating it. But this is a reality, unique and impossible to escape. Louis XV of France is said to have forbade mention of the word “death” in his presence. He was to have punished anyone who brought morose thoughts to his attention or marred the tranquility of his mind. But Thomas Carlyle, commenting upon his unusual trait, described the monarch as an ostrich, sticking its head into the sand, and forgetting that the rest of its body is still exposed to reality.

Two friends met in the shadow of a woods. One was heir to the throne of Israel. The other had to that time been the favored ward at court. David had sensed Saul’s rising hatred toward him and had fled the palace. His friend, Prince Jonathan, had come ...

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