“Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
Psalm 23 is a well-known, and beautiful Psalm, and this is a beautiful verse, but why does the Psalmist say that God’s rod and staff bring comfort to him? Some may think that the Godly person is one that enjoys being beaten or at least corrected.
But take this verse in the context of the rest of the Psalm and we see a different picture. Psalm 23 speaks of God providing for us in wonderful ways, pastures to lie down in, a table prepared before us, in the presence of our enemies, and so on. Our soul is also restored.
But my friends, rods and staffs were used by shepherds, and they were used to guide the sheep, and to keep away predators. The rod was never used to beat people, only wolves and other deadly animals. It was a club to keep away the beasts.
So the best way to think of this section of the verse, is like this,
“Your protection, and guidance they comfort me.”
Image and Commentary © Copyright 2016, WalkingthroughPsalms
quote from the NIV Bible