Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me
By Glen Archer
November 1, 2011
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. -Psalm 23:4
The shepherd's rod is used to protect the sheep; the staff to correct them. The sheep finds comfort in both these instruments. The sheep needs both protection from his enemies and correction in the way.
There is hardly a creature more defenseless than a sheep. Our Lord sends us forth as sheep in the midst of wolves instructing us to be as wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
We are instructed that when smitten on the right cheek to turn to the aggressor our left cheek as well. (Matthew 5:39)
In such a dangerous world, it is only His promise to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) that makes possible the Christian's life and ministry. Yea, we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man shall do unto me."-Heb 13:6
We are blessed with religious liberty in America. This American experiment has lasted little more than 200 years. Even today in this world Christians are suffering for their faith. Many are imprisoned; others are tortured; some are even dying for refusal to renounce their faith in Christ. Thank God for the liberty we enjoy in our country. Let us not take it for granted.
Let us pray that the liberty we enjoy may soon become the experience of men and women, boys and girls in every land.
We are not to fear those who can kill the body, but who are not able to kill the soul. (Matthew 10:28) "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." -2 Cor 4:16
Not only does our Lord provide His rod to ward off our enemies, but He provides His staff as well to guide and to correct us. We are often our own worst enemies. Just as a sheep is a defenseless creature, he is a rather silly creature as well. Left to himself he will soon be lost. Once lost, he is not like a dog or a cat which can find its way home. He is quite helpless and must depend on His shepherd to lead him home.
The Word of God, the Holy Spirit of God, and faithful ministers of the Word are used by our Lord and Savior to guide us gently home. If we know but where to look and how to read the map, there is to be found in the Bible a way home.
Assess your situation.
Acknowledge you have lost your way.
Seek guidance from the Shepherd.
The answer may come in church on Sunday morning. It may come as you visit with a friend. You may be upon your bed at night, when suddenly light springs forth in the darkness. The Lord Jesus Christ leads His dear children along:
"Some through the waters, some through the flood,
"Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
"Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long."
-George Young, 1903
Jesus said: To him the Porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. -John 10:3-4
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