“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 23:4b]

Seems like an oxymoron to speak of being fearless and simply ‘resting’ with death all around.  But the paradoxes of God continue to confound the wise while making wise the simple.

Two things according to the Psalmist are necessary to walk in simple faith while bearing the authority that has overcome the fear of death.  One is the ‘rod’ which is the Word of God; the other is the staff which is the authority of God.  These two are so integrated they are the very presence of God Himself.  In the natural the rod and the staff are the equipment necessary to protect the sheep from the dangers of darkness and every threatening situation.  Every child of God can know the presence and protection of the Lord and be at peace.

There are of course prerequisites to such assurance.  The writer of Hebrews said it this way…”Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” [Hebrews 13:5] Since the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, being free from it is to overcome the fear of all evil [1 Timothy 6:10]

To be content with what you have affords the richest fare.  Your life will increase when more is less and God takes every care.  You cannot live beyond your means and know the peace of God—so strike a bargain with your soul and live by staff and rod!


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