MUSING – April 20 2018
I AM SAFE IN HIS PRESENCE
“The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD’s house for days without end.”
This Psalm can arguably be called the most familiar chapter of the Bible. I have used a more modern version here than the King James that is more familiar. I find that different versions may give me new insights into familiar passages.
I’m concentrating on the following section of the Psalm. “Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage.”
The first thing that pops out at me here is that the Shepherd doesn’t lead his sheep around or away from this valley. But goes with them through the valley of death. Did you hear that? Through and with. Because the Shepherd is with them there is no fear. They trust in him to keep them safe even in this dark place.
The Shepherd tools reassure the sheep that everything will be alright. The rod is a weapon to be used in defense or offence as needed. So the sheep are comforted knowing that the Shepherd has the strength, ability, and took to protect them from those that would do them harm.
The staff was a long stick with a curved end that could be used as a weapon if needed, but its primary purpose is to protect the sheep from themselves. The staff corrects the path of wayward sheep by general nudges or perhaps not so general for those more prone to wander. The crooked end is perfect for lifting those who have fallen or become stuck.
There rod to protect from outside threats and the staff to protect them from themselves.
Truly ,I fear no harm, he is with me.
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams