Your rod and Your staff comfort me. Psalm 23:4
Shepherds in David’s era typically carried a rod and a staff. Both tools had unique application. The rod was a club-like stick. An experienced shepherd could throw his rod with expert skill. He could send his rod hurling through the air and land a stinging blow on the head of a predator if needed. His accuracy was critical.
The shepherd’s rod was also used as a tool for discipline. Sometimes the shepherd would startle a sheep by tossing his rod in the direction of a sheep that had wandered into a dangerous spot along the trail. If the startled sheep didn’t hustle back toward the flock he might soon feel the spanking thud of a second toss squarely on his rump.
The second stick was a shepherd’s staff. The staff was a tall stick used to help the shepherd as he hiked the trails with the sheep. It was also used when the bleating of the sheep solicited the shepherds’ attention. The shepherd would often use his staff to help free a distressed sheep caught up in some thorny brush or to right them if they became cast.
Much like sheep are trained by their shepherd and directed in the way they should go, the Lord trains and directs us too. God desires to lead us into righteousness. If we are willing to follow His direction and stay the course, we will avoid many pitfalls in life and experience His great rewards. If we reject His leading, we subject ourselves to the secondary consequences.
I’m not sure if you are near danger or what’s troubling you today, but I hope you heed the Shepherd’s warnings and find rest in the care of His two sticks.