He corrects me
Pastor Mark Jeske
People like to see pictures of their country’s military technology—it gives them a feeling of security to see those sleek jet fighters and aircraft carriers and know how they are being protected. In the same way, sheep are comforted by their shepherd’s rod. The rod is his weapon, a club chosen and shaped carefully for balance and power. It can be swung or thrown, and though used mostly as a defensive weapon, shepherds will use it on the ribs of balky sheep who are disrupting the march.
The staff is a long, slender walking stick, often with a crook at the top end. The staff is helpful for lifting newborn lambs to present to the ewes; this avoids getting human scent on the lambs and risking rejection. As he stands in the middle of the flock, that long staff is an extension of the shepherd’s touch, nudging, steering, getting attention. The crook end is also most helpful in disengaging a sheep’s wool from brambles or thistles.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4), says David. Repentant Christians are glad not only for divine protection from satanic wolves but glad also for correcting pokes, nudges, or even whacks. Sheep stray, get tipped over helplessly, and eat potentially poisonous plants; we “human sheep” have our own ways of drifting off, living carelessly, and committing spiritual suicide.
What a comfort it is to know that our Shepherd is watching over us and will reach into our lives to warn and avert!
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