Summary: Two powerful helpers: the rod and staff.
A. INTRODUCTION: TWO POWERFUL HELPERS
1. This world 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.
B. COMFORT ME
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.
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”
C. ROD OR CLUB?
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” (1 Cor. 4:21).
D. THE STAFF
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).
PRAYING THE 23rd PSALM
Because Thou art my Shepherd,
I commit my needs to Thee.
Provide green pastures for me to lie in,
Lead me beside still waters.
Restore my soul when I’m empty,
Lead me in right paths for Your name’s sake.
Be with me in danger when I walk,
Through the valley of the shadow of death.
Deliver me from evil,
And protect me with Your rod and staff.
Prepare a table to feed me,
So my enemies can see Your provision.
Anoint me with the oil of Your healing,
Let me drink from the full cup of Your provision.
Surely goodness and mercy will always follow me,
And I will live with You forever. Amen.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.