Summary: Depend on the Shepherd’s club to protect you and His staff to guide you.

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Psalm 23 Series


Elmer L. Towns

Lesson 7: The Rod and Staff


1. This word is not our home, there is little comfort, but the Lord has, “a rod and staff to comfort you.”

2. Usually, people think “rod and staff” are the same thing. But each is a different instrument.

3. The word “rod” is more than a stick, it is a club to beat off enemies, i.e., the wolf, bear, or robbers. It is protection against negative attacks.

4. The word “staff” is used as a positive tool. It is used for direction, assistance in walking, pointing, lifting, etc.

5. Historically, these two tools are called battling and building.


1. What do most first think of the word “comfort?” A blanket or being at ease.

2. The old word is “comfort” but the original language suggests help.

3. Think “cause and effect” to understand comfort.

Effect Cause

Thy rod helps me I feel comforted

Thy staff directs me I feel assured

4. Jesus called the Holy Spirit a helper when he used the title “comforter.” “I will pray the Father and He will give you another comforter . . . even the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16, 17).

5. A “comforter” is parakletos, i.e., “one called along side to help.” The Lord comes to our help in both positive and negative situations.

6. What are some positive ways the Holy Spirit

uses the “rod and staff” to help us?

Teaching. “Leading into truth”

Guidance. “Walking in the Spirit”

Abundance. “Fullness of the Spirit.”

Power. “Anointing of the Spirit”


1. In the dangerous valley, the shepherd is:

a. With me and He has something

b. To protect me

2. The rod is kept for the enemies of the sheep, never to beat the sheep.

3. Negative ways the Lord helps me:

Aware of sin. Conviction of sin.

Lead around danger. Providential grace.

Protection. Guardian angel.

Uncomfortable with sin. Grieving the Holy Spirit.

Keeps away evil. Intercessory prayer.

Inner confidence. Assurance of salvation.

4. Who are the enemies of the sheep?

The thief (John 10:10) false religious teachers.

The stranger (John 10:5) non-committed ministers.

The hireling (John 10:12) unprepared ministers.

The wolf (John 10:12) Satan.

5. The shepherd has as much trouble with internal attacks from his fellow-workers, as he does from without by known enemies.

6. The family genealogy was carved in the rod. “Write thou every man’s name upon his rod” (Numb. 17:2).

a. Spanked with family history. “He that spareth his rod, spoileth his son” (Prov. 13:24).

b. Corrected with family authority. “I will visit their transgression with a rod” (Psa. 89:32).

c. The standard for correction, “Shall I come to you with the rod” (I Cor. 4:21).


1. The staff is the positive instrument used by the shepherd in tending his flock.

2. The shepherd led the sheep with the staff, direction.

3. The staff was used to lift sheep, rescue.

4. The staff was used to divide sheep, separate to himself.

5. The staff was used in walking, assistance.

6. The uplifted staff blessing. “I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand . . . when Moses hold up his hand, Israel prevailed” (Ex. 17:9-11).

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