THE SHORT AND LONG OF IT

Stairs to Hope 2

Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

This is a thought that came to me while quoting one of my favorite chapters. This has been my most coveted of words throughout the trials, temptations, ridicules, pain, grief, and suffering.

One of the first thoughts that came to me was not of David being the shepherd, so much as Moses being equipped to save Israel with the staff, God provided. The Lord spoke to Moses:

Exodus 4:16-17(NLT)
16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

The version of this translation is one I have in the NIV Bible I am reading. The importance of God speaking to Moses and telling Aaron what to say is specific to us. The Holy Spirit gives us each gifts, some more than one depending on His Plan. Who speaks to us to share His Word? The Holy Spirit is whom Jesus gave to us specifically to present the gifts entrusted to us.

John 16:5-7Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Holy Spirit Promised
5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [and taken complete possession of them]. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

Your Gifts of the Spirit are Available
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[

Then of course there is the time when Jesus spoke to His disciples. He gave them the readiness of their journey to share the gospel. Here is what He said:

Mark 6:7-8 (NIV)
7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts”. If we look below at the description of the staff, Jesus sent them out to draw His sheep. To share and support His Children in the Gospel.

So let’s review the rod and the staff. Some think that they are one symbol existing, but Hebrew definitions indicate other wise.

The Rod The Staff
Shebat in Hebrew Mishenah in Hebrew
Protection from danger Meaning of Support
The Power of God Draws sheep to the Shepherd
Short Long

It does make sense to have two different tools. The rod was about
three feet long and attached at the shepherd’s belt. While able to hold the taller staff in one hand, he had the rod available as a weapon to drive the wolves away. The staff permitted him to keep the sheep in their pasture of protection. The crook on the end of the staff made it easier to pull the sheep back into the fold. Thus, “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. (Just like Moses with the Red Sea and the people of Israel, perfectly protected.)
Here is our comfort from God, the Short and Long of it!

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