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Shepherd's Tools

"Thy Rod and thy staff... they comfort..."

Shepherds Have Tools.
The basic tools of a Shepherd are two - the rod and staff. Letís talk a moment about each. David refers them in the 23rd Psalm. "Thy Rod and thy staff... they comfort me." A shepherd needs to remember that his tools are for comfort, not discipline. You donít yell at sheep, that would chase them away. You comfort them remembering what they are made of. Imitate the Good Shepherd.

We suggest that the rod and staff are the Word of God and Prayer. Prayer protects them , and the Word comforts and feeds them. You don't personally solve their problems. You pray about them. You don't feed them with your own ideas, philosophies, or politics. You share the Word of God with them.

THE ROD OF PROTECTION
The rod is a shield of protection. It is not used on sheep. It is used solely to fend off enemies that would harm the sheep. The rod then is our Prayer Shield. God is looking for shepherds who will build a spiritual hedge of protection around His sheep. They are His sheep not ours. We are His under-shepherds doing the will of the Chief Shepherd.

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. - Ezekiel 22:30

THE STAFF OF COMFORT
The staff is that characteristic crooked walking stick historically known as the shepherdís crook, or staff. It is a drawing instrument. Itís sole purpose is to draw the sheep back to the fold, to pull them in closer.

Mercy and Grace
"Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him." Let mercy and grace be always in your heart as you deal with Godís little lambs. Look on them as little lambs, not rams that ought to know better.

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. - Psalm 103:8-13

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. - Exodus 34:6