Your Rod and Your Staff, They Comfort Me
A shepherd uses tools to assist him in caring for his sheep. He employs a rod, a straight pole-like apparatus to check the sheep coats for hidden problems. He can also use it as a weapon against wild animals. The rod also acts as an extension of the herder’s arm.
Each shepherd has a staff, a hook-like tool that was unique to his profession. No other worker in any calling uses a staff. The staff comes in handy when a shepherd is standing watch and gets tired. He can lean against it and prop himself up. Each shepherd makes his own staff and rod. The young shepherd goes into woods and selects the wood he wants to fashion into his tools. They make their staff in proportion to their own height.
The shepherd uses his staff to place new-born lambs next to their mothers. If the shepherd handles the babies, the mother could smell the scent of the shepherd on the lamb and will have nothing to do with it. The staff is also a rescue tool. A young lamb or sheep might get lodged between two boulders. The shepherd might see there is only so much room. He uses the staff’s hook end to get a grip on the endangered sheep and allows it to go free.
Our Heavenly Father, our Shepherd, who loves us very much, comforts us in ways He chooses. He uses His Word. He employs others to speak kindnesses to us. He soothes those who hurt.