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The Rod and The Staff

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Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. A promise worth tasting and exploring. Fear the Ancient of days, the Lord of Lords. Who is this Ancient King? The Lord strong and mighty. He who leads us by still waters and defends the ones He loves. But the Lord does not spare the rod of correction because He wants those He loves to walk in the way of His Son Jesus Christ; sharing love, compassion, being humble, living through the righteousness offered to us in Jesus, a holy people unto God our Father. This blessing is filled with grace, peace, and joy that the men who preach the word of God can only try to describe to you. It’s a personal thing without equal.

Ask God to refine you and He will hold your hand through the process. Like a tender child, the Lord holds our hands as we go through the refining because He wants us to succeed; in the same way we hold a hand of our children when we’re crossing the street for the first time. All we have to do is pay attention. The Lord Jesus does not want a single hair on our heads harmed or that we should shrink away because we’re afraid, so He walks with us when the rod needs to be applied. Even as we are tested he comes and counsels us and we only have to be still and know that he is there.

When we hear of ancient men who testify of God’s goodness and His unfailing love and we see the terms of endearment the Lord bestows, we see a glimpse of the love God holds for mankind. God meets us where we are, regardless of our circumstance. Like when he called Ezekiel. Son of man, God continues after every command; punctuating the circumstances of what the prophet would face with the rebellious people who are His children. A warning that if the man of God did not warn the people God sent him to, he would be held accountable, but would save himself if he spoke as God tells him. A hint of hope in every word that the rebellious house would turn to him and be healed, one by one if need be.

David understood how God desired the sons of God should be. A man after God’s own heart, God says through the prophet Samuel (I Samuel 13:14), of David, when He rejected Saul and chose David as King in his place. But God a while before He had Samuel anoint David. In that waiting if king Saul had come to repentance of his sins and humbled himself, Israel may have had a different ruling genealogy. It is the same with us as it was with the ancients. God punishes the ones He loves because He wants better for them, in Jesus, living according to the will of God – forgiveness is given and wrath withheld.

Being punished can seem like the worst. Specifically to grown folk who believe they should be able to do whatever they want to do, because they’re grown and know what they’re doing. But our current collective circumstances testify that we do not know what we’re doing. I strongly believe that this is why Jesus said; Matthew 18:3 – “truly I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. Strong language, given the fact that we are free in Jesus to do whatever we please, knowing that we will be held accountable or commended by the Lord for how we choose to live. But if we lay down our ego before God so that when we are rebuked for the wrongs we do, like children, we listen and take counsel from the Lord, the rod of correction will suddenly seem more like a joyful gift in our life in Jesus Christ. Because children accept correction with as much humility as they can muster.

The difference between a son of flesh and a son of God, when the rod of correction is applied is this; a son of flesh rises in pride, extolling his strength if they’re able to, but a son of God considers the rebuke and gets up contrite and humble in the Spirit of Jesus. A son remembers that God hates pride because of the destructive seeds pride sows. In the Holy Spirit there is comfort in the rod of correction because it turns us away from the toxicity of arrogance and pride.

Your rod and your staff they comfort me, David writes in the Spirit in Psalms 23. This because of the understanding that the rod corrects our walk with God, so that the leadership of God the son can take hold of our lives. And in accepting the leadership of God as our Father who is righteous and holy, we know that God wants us to be more like Him, through His Son Jesus. Of Jesus, God testifies through Isaiah that “I live in a high and holy place, and also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,” of those willing to be corrected and follow Jesus God says, “to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the repentant”.

I remember King David praising God when he was corrected by God because of the grace he knew was in the rebuke of the eternal King; his Father. God brings us to repentance through Jesus Christ the holy and Anointed One. And in repentance, if you believe in Jesus, and believe God when you go to Him to repent and for counsel, you will come to know the One who is contrite and lowly; a beautiful presence that brings you as you are before the Father, gives you the Spirit, and lives with you if you are willing. We are never forced to accept God’s grace, but He offers it to all of mankind without hesitation because God wants to save, not kill.

The rod of correction is effective when we lay down our lives and take up our cross daily to follow the Lord, who is our Lord, who sits at the right hand of Glory. The gifts you receive when you lay down your old self is unrelenting joy and peace, to begin with. Even when we go through difficulties we will celebrate knowing that it is a temporary situation that the Lord has already taken up. You will begin to understand why God says in Isaiah 8:12, we should fear him, let Him be our dread – because in this we come to obedience rather than backsliding or shrinking away because of fear and anxiousness.

The correcting rod of the Lord is a comfort to my soul and a lamp for my feet. It brought me to life in Jesus Messiah. That is how I came by still waters to the everlasting love of the Almighty. The one who purified my heart and gave me faith and counsels me in the confidence of His Son Jesus. The one who speaks tenderly to me and sings over me in my anxious moments; music worth letting a heart dance to. “Come, you who are weary” He says, “cast your cares on me because I care for you.”

Believe me, come at your worst because God considers for all of us only the best.

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