Verse of the Day

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me."

~Psalm 23:4

Today's Devotional Thought

January 22, 2010 by Wendy Foreman


Your Rod & Staff

As we continue exploring the 23rd Psalm, today I want to talk about the phrase, “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Our shepherd that leads us through the valleys of life is courageous and He will protect us. He has a rod that He can use to scare away the enemy. The shepherds would use this rod to hit or scare away the animals that would threaten their sheep. Our shepherd knows who our enemies are and He knows how to protect us from them.

In addition to the rod, the next thing mentioned is the staff. Now a staff was used to guide and direct the sheep. The shepherd would use this to nudge the sheep along or to rescue them if they were to fall into a crevasse or crack in the mountain. I believe that God uses his staff to correct us and to also pull us up from the cracks and crevasses that we fall into in life.

Are you a sheep that tends to wander from the shepherd into a dark valley? When you come face to face with your enemy, what weapons do you use to protect yourself? Do you use your money? Your position? Your education?

We don’t have to protect ourselves. Where in scripture does it say that the sheep are carrying a rod or club for protection? There is no place where you will find that. Our Father in heaven is equipped to protect us from our enemies. I don’t know about you, but I am relieved that I don’t have to worry about how to defend myself against the enemies that come into my life. Our job, as sheep, is just to follow our shepherd, and He does the rest.

The one thing that we see repeatedly is that sheep depend entirely on their shepherd for direction and safety. What about you? Are you depending on the shepherd for your direction and safety?

We face many things in life. We are facing more stresses and pressures then ever before. We have temptations everywhere we look and we are faced with real problems everyday. Sometimes those problems can block the way of our moving forward with the plans the Lord has for us. The good thing is the shepherd is still there helping us get through life and giving us the strength we need to face those problems and move forward to the green pastures and still waters that we so desperately need in our journey.

Friends, the fact is that we will all face dark valleys throughout our lifetime. The comfort in all of this is that we have a shepherd who will be there for us. Not only is He there for us, He also has just the right weapons to protect us against our enemy.

There is so much to learn from these scriptures. If you have the time to really study the 23rd Psalm I would suggest that you do it. Understand that God doesn’t promise us that we won’t face sickness, death or troubles. He does promise us that he will be there for us when we do face those things. God is faithful to His word and we can depend on Him.

Memorize this verse today:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me."
~Psalm 23:4

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