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       Thy Comfort. During times of struggle and danger, Jesus is also there to comfort us with His rod and staff. The meaning of the Hebrew word for "rod," SEBET, and "staff," MISHENA, are very special. The Hebrew word SEBET has the idea of a "stick." It originally referred to a part of a tree. In the Old Testament the "stick" was used to count sheep (Lev. 27:32). It was also used to protect the sheep from other animals. In the book of Proverbs the stick is used for discipline (Prov. 13:24). SEBET has a sense of authority. The Hebrew word MISHENA has the idea of "something to lean on," "trust," "support," or "staff." Together, the two words paint a picture of a strong, protective shepherd whom we can trust. One who not only cares for us but who will protect us. Sheep are stupid animals compared to other creatures. If we are following the shepherd and danger, trouble, and the threat of death come in the form of life's foxes and bears, He is there with His rod and staff. He protects us with His rod and we can trust the leading of His staff. Do you feel like crying out, "baa, baa, baa?" He is listening!
     Our Rest. The Psalm transitions to a picture of living with the Shepherd. It is a picture of provision, care and eternal security. It is one of living with the Good Shepherd now and forever. Anointing the head with oil before a meal was an eastern custom. It served as a means of "freshening-up." The spiritual feast starts in this life. He ministers to us by "bathing" us with His Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We receive the Shepherd's blessings in this life a
nd continue living with Him forever after this earthly life.
Conclusion: Charles Spurgeon adds,
  While I am here I will be a child at home with my God; the whole world shall be His house to me; and when I ascend into the upper chamber I shall not change my company, nor even change the house; I shall only go to dwell in the upper story of the house of the Lord forever.
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