Fourth of Easter Sunday.
THY ROD AND THY STAFF
Acts 20:17-35; Psalm 23; Revelation 21:4-17; John 10:22-30
· Every one of us knows and memorizes Psalm 23 from our childhood.
· Many preachers and pastors preach more than one time on this beautiful Psalm.
· We use this Psalm in all life applications: birthdays, thanksgivings, and personal consolation, confidence, for comforts and in the funerals.
· We use this Psalm more than any other Psalms of the Bible.
· You can write a book on this one particular Psalm through your personal experience with the Lord who knows you very well.
· Now I want you meditate with me just one verse, the 4th verse of 23rd Psalm.
· The entire verse is also heavy for us for this short time, then let us meditate on just one sentence: “THT ROD AND THY STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME”
· An ancient Middle East shepherd had two things or weapons in his hand: a rod and a staff. Both were used to safeguard his sheep.
· One of our Indian Telugu writers wrote in his song like this: “He will drive my enemy with His rod and guide me in the path of righteousness with His staff.” That’s true.
· A rod was a strong stick made of apple wood, used to protect the sheep and for the personal protection from the wild animals in a desert. A shepherd hits the enemy on its head with this strong rod to drive them or to kill them.
· David killed a lion and a bear with this rod with the help of the Lord.
· A rod is a symbol of power. Kings used a golden rod to rule their kingdoms.
· God has also a rod to rule the earth.
· Psalm 2:9: “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” (KJV)
· Good Shepherd does not mean, He has no rod. He has a rod to keep His sheep safe. He uses this rod against our enemy Satan and the evil spirits.
· Paul says in Acts 20: 28-31, he warned the shepherd of the God’s people about the enemy who would come after his departure.
· Pastors of a God’s flock must have a rod to drive out the enemy.
· The rod is the Word of God that has power and strength to drive out the enemy it is the power of God with in pastors.
· Isaiah 11:4: “He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth.”
· With his staff, a shepherd guards the sheep all the time. He walks in front of the sheep making a way to the sheep by thronging all harmful animals by his staff of the hook.
· A shepherd has a hook at the end of a stick. It gives him balance of walking when he walks in the valleys.
· He keeps the stubborn sheep under his control by the hook of the staff.
· He guides the sheep to the pleasant green pastures and calm waters by the staff.
· As a shepherd of God’s flock, we need a staff like this. It is other than the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit of God, no shepherd could guide his sheep to eternal life.
· As the Good Shepherd, Jesus will guide us into the heavenly kingdom by the guidance of the Spirit.
· Revelation 21:14, ‘they came from out of great tribulation and washed their robs and made themselves white in the blood of the Lamb.’
· Our green pastures and calm waters are the heavenly kingdom of God. If we follow Jesus as our Good Shepherd, we would be in heaven with Him.
· We are His sheep but we are out of our way.
· 1Peter 2:25, “For we were like sheep going astray; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.” We escaped from the danger of hell by His gracious will of act and the guidance of His staff.
· His rod and His staff gave us comfort to lead us into the heavenly kingdom.
· For, we know our Lord, and we followed Him.
· John 10:27, “My sheep will listen to my voice, I know them and they know me.” Following Jesus is making comfort in all things. Then let us sing, “I am a Jesus’ little lamb”