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Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me

Psalm 23:4


When the shepherd goes into the high country (table), he often carries minimal provisions for himself.  It might only be a knapsack packed with food and possibly a first aid kit.  He also carries a rod and a staff.  He learns how to throw that rod with amazing speed and accuracy.  It is his main weapon of defense, both for himself and his sheep.  The sheep receive some comfort and consolation in seeing the rod in the shepherd’s hand.

The staff on the other hand is a unique instrument used totally for the care and management of the sheep.  The staff is normally a long slender stick, often with a crook or hook on one end.  It is selected with care by the owner.  It is shaped and smoothed.  It saves a lot of bending over, tapping the sheep, and lifting them when they get stuck.

The words “your rod and staff, they comfort me”, make a connection between discipline and grace.  God’s rod reminds us of His authority and His power.  It is used to help us stay on the path, or get back to the path that He has for us.  Sometimes, it is used to discipline us and exhort us to move forward.  On the other hand, it is also for our protection.  God protects us from wolves and any other harmful thing that may want to attach and devour us (figuratively speaking).  Yet His staff is also there for us to lean on, to rest, and to find peace.

A word of encouragement that we must remember; even though we go through a valley, that may reflect death, discomfort, or uncertainty, God stands right beside us.  He is the one guiding you, protecting you, and keeping you in His peace as we journey through this life.  It was not an empty promise when Jesus said, “Lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age”.

May you find comfort as you lean on this truth, and would encourage you to not only remember this truth but to apply it to your life every single day.  Do not lose hope, my friends.  His Word is filled with promises of His faithfulness to us.  Let me leave you with one such promise; “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

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