Summary: The tools of the Shepherd are the rod and staff and their purpose is to bring comfort
Ps23:4 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.
- Bad things do happen in life
- Note the dark valleys are directly linked to the rod and staff
In 1975 Tim Leatherman was touring Europe & Asia with a broken-down Fiat. Its hoses leaked & the wiring failed constantly. He used his pocketknife for everything, from slicing bread to adjusting screws. He wished his pocketknife had pliers attached to it. He came home to design his idea. It took 8 years to turn his pocketknife into a Pocket Survival Tool. Today we know it as the Leatherman multi-tool.
- Note the multi-tool for the shepherd is His Rod & Staff
- They come from the shepherd himself
- Sapling is selected and dug up from the roots
- Shepherd carves & whittles it into shape for his hand
- Root knob is smoothed and rounded
- A 2½ foot Club
- The extension of his arm.
- To inspect the sheep by parting their wool for bugs & soars
- Practice for hours to throw it as a missile
- Cowboy in the old west called his six shooter a rod
- A weapon to protect
1 Sa 17:34-35
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and SMOTE HIM, and slew him.
- A symbol of power, strength, and authority.
- Kings used a golden rod (scepter) His insignia of authority
2 And it was so, when the king (Ahasuerus) saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
- A safeguard for protection, examination and discipline.
- It controls the sheep
2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
- With the plagues of Egypt His rod was used over & over
- Rod was used to cross the Red Sea
9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
- WORD is the rod to protect & slay
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- Ps 19:7-12 – Note “of the Lord” (our Shepherd) is connected to the Word
- Ps 119:53, 59, 81-83, 92 – The rod (The Word) at work
- ID of a shepherd is one with his staff
- No other profession carries a staff
- A staff with a hook
- Leaned upon it in times of weariness and to stabilize his walk
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
- Staff used to poke around crevices and rocks to run off snakes, scorpions, and other harmful varmints that could threaten the sheep
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world….
- Press to the side of the sheep to reassure and guide
- Rescue – When they have fallen into difficulty – Water, briars
- Jesus in His tenderness & Compassion rescues & frees us
- Bread in one form or another is beyond question the most basic form of food in practically every human society, past or present, so much so that it is often called "the staff of life."