Saturday, July 3, 2021


Part 2

Jack Davis

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” I Tim. 3:16.

BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD.” This expresses the only way humanity could become partakers in this “mystery of godliness.” As we now come to the fifth feature or factor in the unfolding of this mystery, we do well to be aware of its connection with the preceding clause.

Paul seems to summarize the Gospel that he preached in I Cor. 15:1-4. He declared clearly the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. Those wonderful promises of redemption were beginning to be fulfilled in the coming of our dear Lord.

It is encouraging to know that the object of the preaching was, and is, being realized. There is not only a bringing men to faith in Christ, but also bringing the Christ life to maturity in believing humanity.

It was evident in the life of believers that the mystery preached to the Gentiles had it’s intended results. Read I Thess. 1:6-10; 2:13-14; & II Thess. 1:10. Thank God, the same Word is still working effectually today, without necessity to add human wisdom (?) I Cor. 2:4-5. To God be the glory, that without man-made formulas, lives are still being transformed.


God! What a marvelous event! “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11.

That must have been an exciting and yet somewhat disconcerting experience. They needed these words of comfort concerning His return as they watched him ascend.

While his resurrection proved that this same Jesus was indeed Lord and Christ; the advent of the Holy  Spirit was proof positive that Jesus had returned to heaven; for he had promised to send the Comforter. Acts 2:2-4, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind…”. Jesus was indeed the one that heaven must receive, Acts 3:21.

The Head of the mystical body, the author of the mystery of godliness, had then gone to heaven, and yet He still lives and moves in His spiritual body on earth. What a wonderful mystery! As we live and move and have our being in him by the power of the  Spirit, we manifest the light of His life from earthen vessels. 

What a blessing to realize that the Heavenly Father, and all in heaven, received Him there with exceeding joy! Unspeakable! But, beloved He has also entered there as our “forerunner” Heb. 6:18-20, and the “first fruit” of resurrection and translation. I Cor. 15:23, I Thess. 4:17 and 5:10. 

He who has gone to prepare a place for us, has promised to come again and receive us unto himself. Therefore because the agreement between the Father and the Son (Heb. 13:20-21 has been fulfilled for the most part by the Son, soon His quest and request to have his people with Him will be fulfilled. John 14:1-3; 17:24.

We are therefore now to have our affections set above, where we are to appear with him in glory. Col. 3:1-4. Those whom have drawn the nearest to him in the trials and conflicts of this age, will be his innermost circle for the ages of the ages. Then the greatness of the mystery of Godliness, will have been completed and universally manifest. GLORY! GLORY! GLORY TO God!


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS

Psalms 16:9 -”Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth, my flesh also shall rest in hope.”

Note the statement, “Therefore my heart is glad.” The “heart” means “the ruling center of the whole person, the spring of all desires.”  In I Kings 3:9, King Solomon asked of the Lord, “Give therefore thy servant and understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?” And God answered, (Vs.11-13) that because Solomon had not asked for a long life or riches and other things, but had asked for understanding and to discern judgment, God would give him, what he requested. There would not be a king as great as him all his days. God said this rested on, “... if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as they father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

So, when the Bible speaks of the heart, i.e. “Thou shalt love the Lord with all of your heart.” It means that deep within your being you should love God above everything else. As you walk with Him, He grows sweeter continually.  

Our lead scripture (Psa. 16:9) speaks of a heart that was glad.  The word “heart” is really speaking of the soul - our inner seat of motivation and affections. The word “glad” means to be cheerful, or joyful. Verse 8 actually tells us why David the writer was glad. It says, “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” That security gives the writer a spirit of rejoicing, rest and gladness. Notice it says, “ flesh shall rest in hope.” The word “rest” means in the Hebrew, “to reside permanently, with the idea of lodging and continuing to inhabit and remain.”  The word “hope” means “a place of refuge, safety, security assurance, confidence, to trust and stay.”

In Romans 12:12, Apostle Paul says to the brothers, “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” In Romans 5:1-5, Apostle Paul says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace, wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The word “hope” in these verses means in the Greek - “anticipation usually with pleasure, expectation and confidence.” This hope comes to us by our learning to rest in the things of God.  Romans 8:28 is said to be the “Christians rocking chair.” And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 5:3 speaks of “Glory in tribulation.” The word “tribulation” means in the Greek, “pressure, afflictions, anguish, burdens, persecutions, tribulations and trouble.”  All of these were the lot of Apostle Paul and his followers.  “All who are godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (II Tim. 3:12)  What does it mean in the original Gk. to “glory in tribulations?”  It means “to boast, have joy and rejoice in trials”. Apostle Paul always did that. Remember he said , “Look not at the things which are seen,” (II Cor. 4:18).  

Back in Romans 5:4, we see the word “patience,” which is worked in our lives by going through tribulation. This word, means in the Gk. “Cheerful endurance, waiting, patient continuance.” The next word, “experience”- in the Amplified Version reads “proven character.” The tests and trials we go through do a great work in our lives.  They prove the faithfulness of God’s.  Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding; shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The amplified version says, “That tranquil state of a soul assured of salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with it’s earthly lot of whatsoever sort that is, that peace, which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” How many times when we are in deep trials that we have experienced this wonderful peace of God!

The next word (Rom. 5:4) is “hope.” In Lamentations 3:18,21-24, Jeremiah, the Prophet was expressing his lament about the terrible persecution he and the nation endured. “My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD.” There are times in our lives when trials are so great that we might feel this way. In verse 20 he says, “My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.” He is down in spirit.  However, in verse 21-26, He has victory and hope in his great trials.  None of us have ever gone through the suffering that Jeremiah went through. He trusted in the LORD. As he states, “This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope: It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The LORD is good to them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” What an overcomer! The word “hope” here means, “to wait, to be patient, be pained, trust.” The word “compassions” in verse 22, means “mercy, pity tender love, from inside His heart.”  Isn’t that a beautiful thought, from inside His heart he shows His great love and compassion for us in whatever trial we are going through. Where Jeremiah says in verse 24, “The LORD is my portion” (allotment, or inheritance).

           In Romans 8:18-25. Paul says, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” He goes on to express how the creation is waiting “for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Vs.19). In verse 21 - He speaks about how the creature (the believers) “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” In verses 24-25, “For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why does he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Titus 2:12-13, says the Grace of God is “Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, Looking for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ…”. This is our “blessed hope.” This should be seen of our lives at this moment - to be ready for the soon appearing of Christ. Are you seeing the signs in the earth today? Are you watching for Him today? There is nothing holding back His soon return.  Watch!


Part 2

Pastor Floyd H. Crook


“THEREFORE we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip….Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet….But now we see not yet all things put under him. BUT WE SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste DEATH FOR EVERY MAN.” Hebrews 2:1,8b,9.


We see Him, as He grew up to manhood, going in and out among the people in various places. The Bible declares, He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him,” Acts 10:38. Many of the religious rulers did not believe. As time drew near for Him to die on the cross, we see Him in the presence of those leaders; and the multitude cried out: “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.” Pilate asked them a question that is certainly important to us today: “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” This is the ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTION THAT EVERY ONE MUST FACE.

Jesus, at one time, uttered these words: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” John 12:32-33. In other words, He was saying that He was going to be lifted up on the cross, and that all of the human race is going to be drawn to Him one way or another; either in salvation or condem-nation. God laid on Him the sins of the entire world; every one has the respon-sibility of taking Him as Savior. If they refuse, they will still have to deal with the Son of God.

They took Jesus out to Calvary’s hill and put the nails in His hands and feet. The Old Testament records these words: “...they pierced my hands and my feet.” There are a lot of false prophecies, but this is a true prophecy. We see Him there for six long hours. We can not imagine the terrible agony that He went through. He not only suffered, physically, but the last three hours He was bearing the sins of the whole world. There God the Father turned His back on His well beloved Son. We have the fulfillment of prophecy in both the Old and New Testaments, when Jesus cried out these agonizing words: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Psalm 22:1. Think of your own sins now as a Christian (made free from sin), how you would feel if all of those sins you were once engulfed in, were again heaped upon you. All of the sins of all people of all ages were heaped upon Jesus there on that cross. Can we treat His sacrifice lightly?

About one and one-half years ago, I was stricken, with a heart attack (I will not go into details), but this may give you a little thought. Those few hours of agony I went through gave me a deeper appreciation of what Jesus went through for me. It was not any thing pleasant to go through, but I am glad I had that experience. I can not tell you what it meant to me - the reality of the suffering of Jesus Christ in my behalf. In many ways, during that time, the Lord enabled me to see Jesus in it all.

Continued – Part 3 in the next issue

 At His Feet

Luke 7:38

She came and stood at His feet

   And wept with bitter tears.

Her heart was filled with such need,

   And overwhelmed with fears.

She came and stood at His feet

   And wiped them with her hair.

Washed them with those bitter tears,

   So unafraid to care.

She came and stood at His feet

   For all the world to see.

Knowing who and what she was,

   Yet wanting to be free.

Oh what love was in her heart,

   What need and great desire.

For only Jesus had the power

   To lift her from sin’s mire.

Fragrance filled that little room,

   As ointment was poured out.

Others sat and watched with shock

   But her soul gave a shout!

Jesus knew her love was great,

   And spoke the words to heal.

Showing He alone could save

   And that her faith was real.

By  Debra Isenbletter


Earlene Davis

Daniel 9 – The Seventy Weeks

We read in Daniel chapter 9 that Daniel knew by the writings of Jeremy the prophet, that 70 years were appointed by God for his people to be in Babylonian captivity and under Cyrus they would be allowed to go back to the land. But when he had the vision of chapter 8 he realized that it was for many days. Their trouble was not going to end in 70 years. That only ended the Babylonian captivity. The 70 years was over, God had judged Babylon and Darius of Media was reigning. Not much was happening, Daniel did not understand why they were not going back. Why are not the people spiritual? We feel like this sometimes, why don’t God’s people put you first in their lives when your coming is so soon? 

Daniel “set his face unto the Lord” about the matter and fasted, he was so burdened. He intercedes for the people of God Identifying himself with the whole nation as though he is guilty of their sin, saying “we have sinned.” It is a wonderful prayer of repentance and abasement toward God, yet also confidence in His unchanging love and faithfulness to His people. We learn much from Daniel’s prayer of supplication, getting under the burden as though it is our burden. We are not being made kings and priest unless we inter into this ministry which is a sweet odor to God.

While Daniel was yet speaking, immediately God answered and sent Gabriel, being caused to fly swiftly and touched Daniel. The Lord reveals Himself to those that seek Him. Gabriel’s message, I am come to give thee skill and understanding, for thou art greatly beloved. Daniel was greatly beloved of the Lord, for He was faithful to the Lord and gave himself unto the Lord and God loves that. Anyone who will yield their lives to God has His special favor.

Daniel had a measure of understanding of the visions of Gentile Times, but not the length of time they would take place. He did not know it would be over several hundred years. God reveal this to Daniel, the revelation is Vs. 24-26a. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (These all were fulfilled by Christ). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto  Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” We stop at the colon because this is the end of the 70 weeks of years. The period of time God would bless the Jews in their land during “Gentile Times.” It helps us to know year day counting. Simply put, it is a year for a day. So you multiply 70 weeks times 7 days and you get 490 days or 490 years. We know these are weeks of years, because this is history to us and 490 days would not be the fulfillment of this.

The 70 weeks have nothing to do with the Gentiles or the Church. It is strictly the Jewish people and Jerusalem. The church was still a hidden mystery at that time.

God breaks down those 490 years into divisions and we see when those 490 years began - V. 25 to the colon is 7 weeks, 49 years. There was 49 years from the commandment to go forth and rebuild Jerusalem unto the last prophecy in the Old Testament, the book of Malachi. Then there was 434 years from Malachi to the book of Matthew. There was no prophecy during these years. God uses His calendar of 30 days in a month and 360 days in a year, not the calendar of the nations. So 483 years were accurately fulfilled (49 + 434 = 483 years). So what part of Jesus life was fulfilled in this 69 weeks of years (483 years)? Notice V. 24 – it was determined upon the people and the holy city. So this would be His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, offering Himself as their Messiah (4 days later He was crucified).  

From the colon on is what will take place because of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. Their rejection opened the way for Satan and his man and delayed their blessings, not only for the years of the Church Age, but 7 more years of terrible judgment. There is more than 2,000 years in that colon. So the question, when was the last week fulfilled. Most Bible scholars believe it to be the unfulfilled week of V. 27. This can not be true because everything from this colon on is tribulation not blessings for the nation of Israel. So where is that other week? Well it was 7 years from the resurrection of Christ to the stoning of Steven. Messiah had come, He had finish the transgression, he made an end of sin, He made reconciliation for iniquity, He brought in everlasting righteousness. He sealed up the vision. He fulfilled prophesy and the most holy was anointed. If Israel had received their Messiah at the time of Steven message to them, He would have ushered in the Kingdom at that time. Acts 7:55, Jesus was standing ready to return if they received Him), but they didn’t they stoned Steven, rejecting their Messiah. God had expended His grace for one more week until the stoning of Steven. There was a young man holding the coats of those doing the stoning and he consented unto Steven death. His name was Saul which later became the Apostle Paul – which ushered in the Church Age. So the fulfillment of the 70 weeks is up at the stoning of Steven.

Next issue, we will read of the prince to come and the judgment of the tribulation week of 7 years.


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor, Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 2:4: “Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.”

In this verse we see Jonah’s Exclamation and his Expectation.  This is about what Jonah knows. He knows where he is, he knows why he is where he is, he knows who put him where he is. He also knows there is hope and he knows Who to look to for that hope.

Jonah’s Exclamation: “Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight (presence).”  Jonah is not being thrown away and discarded, he is being disciplined.  He says he has been “cast out” but he has not been “cast away.”  “Then” points back to what has happened. This is said after Jonah is thrown overboard, after the fish swallows him. This shows Jonah sees the consequences of his actions. By these words Jonah accepts God’s judgment and chastisement. While in the belly of the fish he felt that he has been “cast out” of the Lord’s “sight,” or the Lord’s presence. But the Lord still sees him and still hears him.

“Cast out” speaks of separation, of a forceful separation and Jonah feels that separation now. “Cast out” can also mean “driven out” or “thrust out” or it can mean “to divorce.” Both are different types of separation. Both figure Israel in the ways God chastised them and their relationship with their God.  Israel was forced to leave the land of promise and driven out into the nations. Those nations stripped them of everything.  They lost their homes and their land, but they lost something even more precious, they lost sight of their relationship with their God. They separated themselves from their God and God separated Himself from them. God “divorced” or “put them away” because of their unfaithfulness to Him, because of their idolatrous worship (Jer.3:8).  It was not until they lost all these things that they realized what it was they lost and Jonah is a picture of that loss, and he feels it deeply.

Like Israel, Jonah felt that he had been removed by force, by circumstances out of his control. What is sad is that before he was “cast out” he had already left God’s presence. He did it voluntarily, he did it willingly when he ran away Jonah did not realize what he was turning away from and running away from.

There are different types of separation.  There can be a physical separation, such as Israel from their land, their homes, and the blessings of God and Jonah’s physical separation from his home, his land, his people. There can be a spiritual separation, such as loss of fellowship.  The relationship is still there because Jonah cries out to his God but the fellowship has been damaged and needs to be restored.

Jonah says “I am cast out of thy sight.” That does not mean God cannot see Jonah. Jonah does not feel the Lord’s “presence.” Jonah suddenly feels the loss of something that he had taken for granted. Jonah finally realizes what it is he has really lost. It is not about loss of life, it is about loss of fellowship. It is not that the Lord is not there, He is there.  He hears Jonah’s prayer on some level,  Jonah knows this, because he prays. It is when Jonah changes his attitude, when he repents, when he submits, when he prays, it is then that he will feel the Presence of his God. 

Jonah’s sin had separated him, he could not hear God and he did not want to be near God. Sin separates man from God.  After Adam sinned he hid from God (Gen.3:8). This is a lesson Jonah must learn, it is the difference between feeling and faith.  Jonah feels cast out and rejected because of judgment, he does not feel the Lord’s presence. At the moment, Jonah sees only judgment, not the love behind the judgment.  The Apostle Paul saw the love behind the judgment concerning God’s people, he knew that God had not “cast away his people” (Rom.11:1-2,5). He knew God would take them back again, on His terms and not theirs.  This is what Jonah will learn.

Jonah’s Expectation: “yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.” In this statement we see that Jonah’s faith begins to overcome his feelings.  Jonah says, “yet I will look again,” as impossible as it seems, he has this hope that one day he will “look again” at the place that he loves.  To “look” means to “regard with pleasure” to look “again” means to look “toward;” to look “often;” it means that he will look “henceforth” or “from now on.”  It could be he had not been looking like he should have, now he says he will look and that he will do this and not stop looking. The place that he is looking toward is “thy holy temple;” a consecrated place, a sacred place, a place of sanctuary.  In the belly of that fish, with his eyes lifted up to his God in faith, with his voice crying out in faith, the place could be transformed. It had the potential of becoming a sanctuary. 

It could be until this moment Jonah had not felt this way about the temple, he may have taken it for granted, now it means something. Sometimes we take for granted the opportunities and privileges of worship until they are gone. It could also be that being a prophet for the ten tribes, it was not easy to go to the temple after the division of the kingdom. The kingdom was split, the ten tribes worshiped in Dan and Bethel, the places Jeroboam chose instead of Jerusalem. (1Ki.12:26-29). The temple was in Jerusalem, it was where the two tribes worshiped. If anyone from the ten tribes went to the temple, it would not be easy.  

Now in faith Jonah looks toward the temple with longing and remembers how precious worship and fellowship are.  The temple was a place for God’s people to pray in  (1Kings 8:38-39) and it was also a place for God’s people to pray towards, if they could not be in the temple. (2Chr.6:38-3; Dan.6:10). They did not have to be physically in the temple for their prayer of faith to be heard. Jonah looks forward to the time he will be in the temple again. Can you imagine, after this experience, what his testimony and his worship would be like? He could offer a sin offering or trespass offering acknowledging his sin. He could offer an offering of thanksgiving for his deliverance. He could worship the Lord his God, and his heart longed for the place he could do this.

Psalm 23 

Part 5

By Vicky Moots

Psalm 23:4c: “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” A shepherd’s staff was a long rod with a crook on one end to lean upon or to use to hook around something, such as a lamb that had fallen into a hole, in order to rescue it. I know personally that my Shepherd has reached down and rescued me many times when I had fallen, and He lifted me back up to continue following Him.

The rod portion was used for correction and protection. I think that the rod and the staff were both parts of the same thing which was used for different purposes, depending on which end was in the shepherd’s hand. It was an important piece of equipment that served multiple needs.

Sometimes a shepherd had to discipline, to correct, to teach a stubborn sheep that kept straying by using the rod for the purpose of keeping that sheep safe from harm. The shepherd did this because he loved that sheep and didn’t want anything to happen to it. Our Shepherd also loves us enough to search for us when we stray and to chasten us with His rod to teach us to stay on the right path. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth…” (Heb. 12:6).

Wise King Solomon gave the same advice to fathers in Prov. 13:24: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes [at times].” And again in Prov. 29:15, we read concerning the rod of correction: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” We can be comforted by the fact that our Shepherd loves us enough to chasten us with the rod. 

So, what does the rod and staff represent spiritually? How does our Shepherd use it to both bring comfort to us and correction at the same time? The answer is found in II Tim. 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The Word of God is both a rod and a staff, depending on what is needed at the time. As a rod it can correct us and teach us wisdom. Then it instructs us in the way of righteousness, and thereby works in our lives to perfect us (to bring us to maturity) that we may bring glory and not shame to God, that our actions will be pleasing in His sight.

Jesus, Himself, is the living Word, and we can lean upon Him, upon His breast, as a place of comfort and love, even as John, the beloved disciple did in John 13:23: “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” 

In Song of Solomon 8:5 we see a picture of the bride leaning upon Christ the Bridegroom: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved...”. Whether we have just come through our wilderness experience of trials or the valley of the shadows, He will comfort us as we lean upon Him.

In addition to finding comfort by leaning upon Him, we can also lean upon Him (the Word) when we are weary and too weak to stand. He is able to keep us from falling by leaning upon Him and His Word instead of upon our own strength or understanding. Jude assures us regarding this in verse 24 of his short epistle. This verse is actually a benediction: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” How does He keep us from falling? Through the staff of the Word of God as we lean upon it. How does He present us faultless before God? By applying the rod of correction, the Word of God, to let us know when we are headed in the wrong direction. His Word cleanses us from all unrighteousness and declares us righteous in Christ, and we can safely lean upon it.

All these things are accomplished in our lives as we allow our Shepherd to apply the Word to us personally in order to correct us, and to instruct us, and to thereby perfect His will in us. Truly, His Word, the rod and staff, will comfort us in all situations, as we read it and trust in it.

Another important function of the rod and staff is for the protection of the sheep. A shepherd could use it to fight off wolves or other wild animals that might attack the sheep. The Word of God is our weapon, our defense against our enemy, Satan. Jesus, Himself, used the Word as a weapon against Satan when He was tempted by him in the wilderness after fasting for forty days before He began His ministry. Jesus specifically told Satan, “It is written…” (Matt. 4:4). He then quoted other Scriptures to Satan in order to overcome him.

Paul also tells us in Eph. 6:17 that our weapon in spiritual warfare against Satan is the Word of God: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Our words will not stop Satan’s attacks and his lies but the Word of God will. We do not have the ability to rebuke Satan in our own power when he attacks us with fear and doubt and lies. It takes the power of the Word of God to do that.

The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword (Heb. 4:12). If Satan is attacking you, then get out your Bible and start reading it out loud so Satan can hear you. Also, when you hear the Word audibly it builds your faith, for the Scripture says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). Hearing the Word of God teaches us to trust the Shepherd as we hear His voice and to follow His leading. His Word, the rod and staff, brings us comfort, protection and correction as we journey through our valley. Through the Word, our Shepherd will bring us safely to the other side as we lean upon Him.

To be continued



“My soul clings to you; your right hand up holds me.” Psalm 63:8

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” II Thessalonians 3:5

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:13

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Martha Wainright