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)
Can we truly say that God’s rod and staff comfort us? The rod was used by the shepherd on his sheep for discipline at times. I began to meditate on why God’s rod would be a comfort to me. As God’s child, there are many times that I must be corrected. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)
David was quick to add “and thy staff” immediately afterwards. The staff was used as a walking stick – this is a wonderful picture of God’s direction and guidance! David did not insert this in the next sentence but placed it right along with “Thy rod”! I wondered why? God’s correction and chastisement is always followed with direction and love. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) Can you just picture the Lord as our Shepherd using the rod to discipline us and then using His staff to guide us and direct us back on the right path?
A shepherd uses his rod to chastise his sheep into staying with the herd. His staff then guides and directs the sheep in the direction the shepherd wants them to go for their own protection. What a beautiful picture of Jesus, our Shepherd!
Our Father in Heaven is the ultimate Father! In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8 )
Father, I welcome thy rod and thy staff in my life. Without Your correction and guidance, I would wander aimlessly. Thank You for Your everlasting kindness and mercy, my Redeemer and King!