The Comfort of the Shepherd
Daily Devotional for September 23rd
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.…Psalm 23:4
To sheep, there is a natural fear of predators. The valley of the shadow of death represents a path through which many types of trouble and death are possible. It is virtually impossible to be evade every possible predator, but thank God for the shepherd who will lay down his life for his sheep.
Shepherds carried a rod and a staff for the purpose of protecting the sheep. The staff was carried so that he could retrieve the sheep out of the clutches of the predator. The rod was for the primary purpose to attack the predator. With the sheep held out of reach of the predator with the staff, and the rod in the other hand inflicting attacks toward the predator, there was sure comfort to the sheep. You and I are guarded by a strong shepherd Jesus who leads us through this life. There is protection and comfort walking close to the shepherd.
After being rescued once or twice in his own life, David came to realize that even though he was an earthly shepherd with a rod and staff, he also knew that the Lord was his Shepherd would likewise protect him. We fear many things while walking this path to follow the Lord. However, if we are following the Lord, you should never fear the things that may be encountered because your Shepherd will protect.
The devil takes pleasure in making us tremble in fear, but the devil fears more the rod and staff of the Chief Shepherd. God’s protective hand is on His children. Why then does the enemy seem to succeed in attacking us at times? According to this Psalm, it is because we leave the sheep fold. There is always comfort and protection when the sheep follow the shepherd. The Holy Spirit is the comforter to us today. The abiding presence of God is so real that when He is near, the shadows must flee away. There is absolutely no fear where Jesus abides.
Are you wandering from the fold? Beware, we are nothing without Jesus. The roaring lion is seeking whom he may devour. The safest place to be is in God’s sheepfold close to Jesus. We cannot defend ourselves without the Lord and He has made a way where we don’t have to. We can run to the shepherd and enjoy the comfort that His presence provides. Today if you have wandered from Jesus, call out to Him. He will hear your heart’s cry. He will even leave the ninety and nine and journey after you and bring you back into the fold.