Power & Grace
Ps.23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” [NKJV, with emphasis].
God is not only all powerful, God is one hundred percent loyal. If you make God your shepherd today, you will experience God’s absolute power and total loyalty. The truth is this, if you are where God wants you to be, you are safer than anywhere else in the world. In other words, the safest place you could ever be is where God wants you to be. You are safer with God in a “bad” place than you are without God in what you think is a good place. Why? It is because your God, the Good Shepherd, is not only all powerful, He is one hundred percent loyal to you. This truth brings comfort and rest, despite the numbers, economy, or government policy indications. If you have the Lord as your shepherd, the rod of His power comforts you.
When David insisted that he will not fear evil was not only because of God’s rod which is God’s power but also because of His staff which is God’s grace. The staff is the grace of the shepherd. Sheep always get into self-inflicted trouble; no other creature puts itself so ignorantly into trouble like sheep. They sometimes jump into a river even though they cannot swim. The top of the staff is usually shaped like a hook and it is used to grab and drag sheep out of the river. When sheep get stuck in a thicket or a thorny bush, the shepherd would use the staff to rescue the sheep. The staff is the tool used to un-trap, to extend grace, and to offer release to the sheep.
The staff is used to keep the sheep within safe boundary. Imagine a land with points A, B, and C. Each of these points is close to the river. However, the shepherd knows that points A and B have a steep depression. If sheep attempt to drink from these points, they will tumble and fall into the river. So, the shepherd will lead the sheep past points A and B to point C where the land slopes gently towards the river and they can drink without any danger. But one or two sheep will feel they understand the terrain better than the shepherd or will be too impatient and rush to drink at points A and B. When this happens, knowing what will happen to the sheep, the shepherd would use the staff to keep the sheep that attempt to stray within boundary.
But sometimes, when sheep has hung around with goats too long, they begin to behave like goats, and won’t listen to the shepherd. In such rare situations, the shepherd would have to whack such sheep with the rod. The lesson is, if you miss the staff, you would not miss the rod. If you miss the Word, you would not miss the rod.
Prayer: Father, Your grace and power comfort me and keep me on the right path, in Jesus Name. Amen!