From the archives of Oral RobertsFifth of eight parts

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. — Psalm 23:4

When a shepherd in Israel takes his sheep from one pasture to another, he uses his rod and staff to beat off the snakes and wild animals — anything that endangers his sheep. This is exactly what the Lord, your Shepherd, does for you.

The shepherd’s staff has a crook on it so that when a sheep starts getting out of line, the shepherd just reaches over and puts that crook around the sheep and pulls it back where it belongs.

Have you ever felt the Lord pull you back into line? I have. I have to have God’s authority in my life because, like sheep, I get going in every direction. Now I don’t always like His authority, but I need it. I must have it, for I have found that where there is authority and discipline, there is also security.

Discipline hurts sometimes. But when you know God is in charge of your life, you can relax with a sense of security. God’s “rod and staff” are an encouragement and a comfort which lets you know that God is always there with you to beat your enemies away and to keep you out of trouble.