Every Preparation Day (Friday before Shabbat) we busy ourselves rushing to ready our homes and meal for Shabbat. We're often so busy that we can lose sight of the purpose and blessings of Shabbat. A couple of years ago I got into the habit of prayerfully reading the Tehillim each day. It has truly blessed my life. Within those songs are strength, comfort, peace, and rejoicing. They are a reminder to us that no matter what is going on in our lives that The Eternal watches over us. I hope that sometime during your busy Preparation Day that you will take some time with the Tehillim. It is with this in mind that I have started this blog, which are insights into each song, posted every Friday morning. Shabbat Shalom!
By In the Shade of the Tent | October 18, 2013 at 01:42 PM EDT | No Comments
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me, vs 4b
The rod and staff of the shepherd are indispensable tools when with the sheep. The Hebrew word for rod is shaybet , (Strong's 7626) The word means a stick for punishing fighting, writing, walking, ruling, (as in scepter - a mark of authority), correction. The Hebrew word for staff is mishaynaw (Strong's 4938) and means a walking stick used for support, sustenance. And finally the Hebrew word for comfort is nawkham (Strong's 5162) and means to sigh, be sorry, to repent, to regret.
The rod for the ancient shepherd was the means by which he (or she) protected the sheep from predators. It is also how the sheep were kept from wandering off. There are some who did, and probably still believe that the word "rod" signifies punishment, as in the verse, He that spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24. Rod does not equal beating. It is defense and correction. Loving correction. If the sheep were being harshly disciplined do you think they would respond to the shepherd? What is the rod of The Eternal?
Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
It is His Word - His commandments, statutes, ordinances, and judgments. It is the very words He spoke to our ancestors from the mountain. It is the words He spoke through the prophets, and it is in the perfect teachings from our Messiah Yeshua. The Word not only is our correction, but it is also defense and protection. As the shepherd's staff is used to keep away dangerous predators, if we obey His Word, we are kept from falling into the predator's grasp.
After being out with the flock during the day, the shepherd then brings them to the fold.The ancient sheepfold was an outdoor enclosure, usually made of piled rocks in a circular design. There was only one entrance a small doorway that the sheep would pass through. The sheep would pass "under the rod" of the shepherd through the door to be counted to ensure that none were missing.
I will cause you to pass under he rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. Ezekiel 20:37
If any were missing, he will go out and find them and bring them back to the fold.
As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. Ezekiel 34:12
The word comfort not only means to be consoled, but it has a far greater meaning in the Hebrew. To sigh, to be sorry, to repent. When we are confronted by the rod we "sigh" we realize the we have sinned and we regret and repent.
May you find comfort in His rod and staff, The Word of The Eternal.
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.