Today let’s look at how Jesus comforts us with both His rod and staff. David wrote Psalm 23 from his real experience with God. David, a shepherd himself, understood how a shepherd tends his sheep. Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. The King James translates Psalm 23:4b as “for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
1.He defends us from our enemies with the rod
Just as a natural shepherd uses his rod to beat off predators, Jesus is our protector. The authority of Jesus was given Him and then passed to us through His name. His authority is represented by the rod. Jesus gave us all authority when He said “all authority is given to me on heaven and earth, go therefore…..In other words, Jesus’ victory over the perils of death and fear and hell was on our behalf. When we know He is stronger than any evil we face, we are comforted. We are confident He will always come through. In Psalm 110:2 states “the Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion. Rule Thou in the midst of thine enemies”. Jesus is the rod of God’s strength. It is a rod of protection and love.
2. His picks me up with His staff when I fall
A shepherd’s staff rescues their sheep when they fall. It’s a comfort to know that even when we fall and make mistakes, Jesus our kind friend and shepherd will look for us and pull us out of our messes. Remember, He is your defender and protector. He also rescues you from every mistake. The staff was used to draw the sheep together into one place and rescue the one who drifts away. Sheep were protected when they were together but the wolf or bear or lion would love to eat them when they were separated. Thus, the importance of staying with your church family and not doing it alone. There is a very real enemy, the devil whose purpose is to steal, kill and destroy from you. This is why regularly listening to your pastor will keep you safe from wrong doctrine and being separated from people who love you. Shepherds use staffs to draw the sheep together to inspect them. This reminds me of the Spirit drawing us into a church or fold where we can be constantly fed the Word of God and keep us spiritually nourished. A pastor is an undershepherd and Jesus uses them to speak His direction into our lives.
3. He hears me when I call
This psalm states your rod and staff comfort me.Just as a sheep bleats and the shepherd hears his call, we call “Jesus” and He is always there to bring us back.
The way Jesus defends us today is by the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction. He gently guides us and keeps us close to the Shepherd Jesus. Frequently the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to correct us and keep us from walking into disasters.