I posted this sermon from 2003 because I thought parts of it are so pertinent to what we are going through right now.
Enjoy. Dr. J
Numbers chapter 16.
Cora, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi and certain Reuben Knights, Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab in on the son of Paulette, became insolent and rose up against Moses.
Which then there were 250 Israelite men, well known community leaders who had been appointed members of the Council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said, we’ve gone too far.
The whole community is holy. Every one of them and the Lords with them. Why do you set yourselves above the Lords Assembly?
When Moses heard this, he fell face down and he said, the core and the other followers in the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who’s holy, and he’ll have that person come near him and the man he chooses.
He will cause to come near him. Please note that the man he chooses he will cause to come near him.
You, Cora, all your followers are to do this. Take sensors and tomorrow put fire and incense in them before the Lord in them. And the Lord chooses will be the one who is wholly unique. Fights have gone too far.
Moses also said the core now listen you leave lights. Isn’t it enough for you that God is separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near to himself to do the work at the Lord’s Tabernacle that stand before the community and minister to them? He’s brought you and all your fellow Levite’s near to yourself or to himself rather.
But now you’re trying to get the priesthood twos. It’s against the Lord that you and your followers have banded together.
Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him now? Watch this next statement. This is amazing to me.
So Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab. But they said.
We won’t come.
Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert?
Their refund to Egypt.
The place they cried out to God, Moses even came into the picture because those same people in Egypt was saying this is terrible.
We can’t stand this anymore. The oppression of pharaoh. All this stuff is terrible. Help us help us help us.
God raises up Moses. He does what the Lord tells them to do. They’ve already seen amazing things take.
Place the miracles of nature. We went seen partying all these things. They’ve seen that, but now it isn’t quite where they want it to be it. So with limited understanding, they decide to take matters into their own hands.
And they form a rebellion, and so they go to Moses and say you’re the only one holy. Are you the only one the Lord’s going to use now?
First of all, did Moses pick his assignment?
Not at all.
Moses was sovereignly picked by the Lord and he went through some things. The Lord called him from the backside of the wilderness, ’cause he had to flee for his life.
Because he killed a guy.
And so there’s this whole dramatic story up to this point where we’re continuing in a series.
On Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want, and today we’re going to talk about the passage that says die Rod and I staff.
They comfort me.
The rod speaks of the shepherds authority, and So what happens when people rebel against authority?
Hasn’t struck anybody odd, but we are having anti war demonstrations all around the world and people have very clearly allied themselves into positions and they’re adamant saying this is wrong. This is wrong. This is wrong and we haven’t done anything yet.
Have that struck anybody odd that we’re having demonstrations against something that hasn’t taken place yet. The only reason that can happen is that there’s a linkage to other things in our recent history, like the Vietnam War, I remember some of the Vietnam War protests that were very vehement and very, but in that particular instance, the war had been going on.
There were casualties. God forbid, though there were body bags and there were thousands of Americans coming back and.
And I’ve talked to a number of people who were spit out in airports when they came back in uniform right out of being in country in Vietnam. Some of them flew back to San Francisco International Airport and people spit on them.
And so this this thing is starting it. This is not going to be some sort of polemic against.
But we’re going to get.
Into the work and I wanted you to see that when people rebel against authority, there’s something else going on than the issue.
A very wise man who was our president and general supervisor of large nomination in Canada one time gave me some wise words I’ve never forgotten, he said Jim. The issue is never the issue. Control is always the issue.
Authority and what you do with authority and how you respond to authority, is indicative of a heart attitude that has nothing to do with the particular issue it has to do with your relationship with the Lord.
One person put it this way says you put one person in authority. They grow. You put another person in authority. They merely swell.
That’s true, some people can’t handle it, and so these folks were saying to Moses, we we in twisted logic they said, isn’t it enough that you brought us up out of that? I thought the Lord brought them up out of Egypt, but now it’s Moses fault.
Moreover, you want to Lord it over us. Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given given us an inheritance of fields or vineyards where you gouge out the eyes of these men, though we won’t.
Come so Moses became very angry and said to the Lord don’t accept their offering. I’ve not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them, Moses, said Decorah.
You and your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow, and they like Aaron. Each man is to take his sensor and put incense in it to 250 sensors and all present.
It before the Lord, you and Aaron are to present your sensors also.
Well, so they all they.
Did what they were told to do. Now this is the stage set for an incredibly dramatic moment where Moses basically said let’s see what God does.
Let’s see what he says about authority and who does what and how he wants it wasn’t about him that he understood that it wasn’t about her.
He understood that this was about whether or not God’s order in the earth for authority and and and.
At levels of political levels, levels and family levels, and and just law and order issues in in a society, if that was going to be up for grabs, there would be chaos and anarchy and all the rest is so the Lord says tomorrow will decide on this particular issue, what it was that I said to you.
But God said to Moses and Aaron separate yourselves from this assembly, so I can put an end to them at once. But Moses and Aaron fell face down and cried out to God.
God of the spirits of all mankind. Will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sends? Isn’t that a leader?
They are the. The bulk of this whole thing and yet they turn around their interceding still for the people who are causing so much grief in in the world.
He’s crying up toward for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses state of the Assembly, moved away from the tents of Cora, Dathan and a beer.
So Moses got up and went to death and the beard and the Elders of Israel followed him, and he warned the assembly moved back from the tents of these wicked men. I don’t even want to know what that looked like.
I’m trying to picture people in the middle of 1.
Which way are we going to go ’cause he they said all they said? What about maybe maybe what they’re saying is true?
Maybe this Moses has an authority problem. Maybe Aaron, they really don’t know what.
I mean he’s got sensor and they weren’t leading people.
I mean they had some authority and.
So the largest says tell them to move away, so without going into a lot of detail about this particular verse, let me just tell you what happened.
Moses basically says we’re going to settle this this way. If these people die a normal death like people usually die, then God hasn’t sent me.
But if the Lord does something that has never happened before, and the earth opens up and swallows them, then you will know that the Lord sent me. Now I’m trying to picture people.
Started watching this and hearing this saying what?
When the ground started to rumble.
When the Earth opened up.
And all of them went into the Earth alive.
Then the guys with the sensors, you can hear the chains rattling.
By now they’re holding onto the set and fire went out. Quote Fire went out from over and consumed all of them.
Still, people grumbled against Moses after that. Like now, look what you did.
So I’m I’m wondering about this whole issue of authority and and David says in Psalm 23 because you’re a Good Shepherd, your rod and your staff. They comfort me.
What is comforting about authority of things like that?
Happened well, first of all, I want to tell you we’re living in a time where authority has been questioned at every level.
All the roles in the family have this been totally redefined according to political correctness. I’m seeing things. Have you ever seen I?
I was unheard of to me. I went to a basketball game not that long ago, and the coach yelled out something and the kids just mouth off to him back and told him what they thought of his directions and I thought.
The coach that I remember would have had a different outcome with that, but it’s our society and we’re used to doing that. The police tell you to do something people turn around and call the police pigs.
The military gives instructions in a in a martial law. Have people fight and do other. Ultimately. Right now we’re dealing with a situation where the very people who are leading us are being undermined by people who are challenging, not just this particular issue, but the authority and the individual holding that.
30 I remember a little girl during one of these recent demonstrations, about 9 years old, and I didn’t read anything to do with Harry Potter.
I don’t know anything about Harry Potter. Wasn’t a girl had a sign said Bush is?
Valdimar or something?
I thought what is that? And sure enough, the mother who was so proud of her, her little daughter, you know who was?
Challenging the authority of the President and that they went and they interviewed the little girl. He said, who’s the Aldemar said in Harry Potter? He’s the evil sorcerer.
And I looked at it for a minute. I looked at the little girl waterfall in a in a way.
I mean, what’s going on with their parents? But then they showed the mom or had this kind of smug. I know look, you know, and then they had posters that that equated George Bush with Adolf Hitler.
I don’t care who’s sitting in the.
Gate in the Oval Office. Do you think that would hurt?
When you think that way and he’s got huge decisions to make anyway, now is this some sort of apologetic for the war?
And saying this is exactly the right thing America needs to do. I’m not going to say that one way or the other, but I am saying this the authority challenge that is going on is belying. The fact that underneath us the ground is beginning to buckle.
In our society, and we’re not aware of it, and some of us may not be aware.
Of it until it swallows us up.
The authorities, the scriptures say, were put there.
Now we’re going to talk about that for a minute, but I want to tell you that Jesus was different and the religious leaders knew it turned to Matthew Chapter 7. Would you?
Matthew Chapter 7 we’re going to look at just a few verses about the authority that Jesus had.
Matthew Chapter 7.
Matthew Chapter 7 verse 28. When Jesus had finished selling these things to crowds were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law.
The rest of that sentence that isn’t expressed is the teachers of the law did not teach with authority.
Think Jesus was different and they knew it. The Centurion who sent for Jesus to come and heal his servant.
Remember that he said just come and speak the word you know. Fortunately said, just speak the word and Jesus came in and said I’m not worthy of the century and said I’m not worthy that you even come under my roof. All you have to do is just speak.
The word and my servant will be healed, he said, for I am a man under authority. And when I say to a man, go, he goes.
And what I say to a man, come he comes. So I understand authority. All you have to do is speak the word.
I’m not even worthy that you come under my roof, Jesus said, I tell you, I have not seen such.
Even among Israel.
The warning equated understanding authority with great faith.
Do you think that pilot understood about authority? He was a person whose whole, political life and career was one big manipulation of political authority.
He was trying to get back to Rome. He trying to get back into favor with the senators being the one who was chosen to lead. Palestine was not an upwardly mobile.
Career move for a Roman politician. He was in trouble. He was on a downward slide.
And so Jesus, who’s responsible for all this insurrection that pilots been hearing about Jesus, is standing reform, and I won’t have you turn there and interest at the time. But listen to that dialogue sometime.
So you’re a king.
You say so.
And the whole time pilot, by the way, we read from another gospel account. Pilot’s wife had nightmares about Jesus and told him, don’t judge this guy.
At least twice it says pilot was afraid.
You know one of the times I said pilot was afraid of Jesus.
As one pilot pulled his governor, Roland said, don’t you know that I have authority to put you to death?
Jesus looked and right his Roman eyeballs and said you would have no authority.
Unless it had been granted to you from above and then it says Pilate was afraid and they said, where did you come from?
I love Hollywood. Where did you come from?
I think the part the pilot locked onto was from above.
From above, there’s all sorts of authority that we get into, and sometimes it’s you have been part of a a club that had Roberts rules of order, or a benevolent society or something where they have officers. Well, sometimes people have authority and they call it ex officio out of the office.
So somebody got the gavel, you know they’ve been waiting for five years to lead that Lady society and now they’ve got the gavel.
You’re in trouble, and so there’s somebody else that’s going to be the head of this particular organization, so they’ve been lobbying real hard.
And now they’re in charge, and they have authority because they got their little plate on their desk that says they.
Have the authority that’s ex officio.
Catholic Church has an interest in dogma.
They actually believe that when Pope John Paul sits in the throne of Saint Peters and Saint Peter’s Basilica when he sits in that chair and he is sitting as the reigning Pope, he is infallible.
As to things to do with the church, did you know that the doctrine is called ex cathedra?
Out of the chair or from the chair. Which means when he sits in that role and in in that assignment, and when he’s in his red vestments and everything, and he sits and he has to closure the separate staff in his hand, the mitre, the representative power of the the Bishop of Rome.
And when he sits in that chair, the dogma used to be, I don’t know if they still teach us. But the document used to be.
Try not make a mistake.
Ex officio ex cathedra out of the office out of the chair.
Here, Jesus taught what rule authority was.
He said all authority in heaven and Earth has been granted to me, and so I’m telling you. Therefore, go and he gives his disciples the the Great Commission.
He says the authorities been given to me. Now I’m giving it to you, the word that he uses the Greek word there is X Lucia.
For authority and it means literally out of who I am.
Out of who I am, did you ever notice that people with real authority don’t have to tell you they have it?
You just know it.
And some people who have to tell you all the time they have authority, probably don’t.
Because really it is out of who you are and so David in Psalm 23 says, because the Lord is my shepherd.
I shall be comforted by the fact that his rod and his staff comfort me, turned to Romans 13.
Romans chapter 13.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities.
Romans 13 one.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established and the authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rumors, hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong, do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what’s right. He’ll commend you.
For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword for nothing. He’s God, servant, and Agent of Wrath to bring punishment on the wrong.
Sure, therefore it’s necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but because of conscience and boy. While about April you don’t want to read this next verse.
This is also why you pay taxes for the authorities or God servants and in who give their full time to governing.
Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes. If revenue, then revenue. If respect them. Respect. If honor, then honor and I read that the first time and.
I said pardon me, Paul.
Do you know what government we’re talking about here?
The Roman occupational government is that what you’re talking about?
Peter would say, honor the emperor in first Peter.
So one small detail about that you ought to know he wrote first Peter to tell them that a terrible persecution was coming from those same leaders. And Redmond says, honor the emperor. You know the emperor was talking about Nero.
Peter was in Rome to see human torches made up. Christians had been doused in pitch and set afire lighting the Appian Way.
Peter saw that he wrote to the people in the region, and he said, you know, grade up the loins of your mind for action. He says, provided that you suffer, so things are going to happen and he writes him a very comforting pastoral letter.
But in the middle of it, he says, honor the emperor. What could he possibly have meant? Honor people are going to persecute you. Honor people who make mistakes.
I want to tell you from the get go it is really possible that President Bush and Vice President Cheney and Secretary Powell, and Secretary Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, the Joint Chiefs, all the people down the chain. They could all be making a mistake.
That’s very possible because they’re human.
I want to tell you that the chief of police and the Fire Chief and the people who are principles of our schools and the people who head up the corporations and companies that you serve.
They have feet of clay and they can all make mistakes and sometimes mistakes that hurt people and sometimes they can even do stuff that’s rotten.
And still the Lord says.
All those in authority over you.
Because they’ll get away with stuff.
I would ask the people who were standing next to the tents of those guys.
If they got away with anything.
I would ask the people who were holding onto those sensors if they thought they were getting away with anything.
Nobody gets away with anything, and the whole issue of authority is if you have a pure heart and your heart is right and you do what you do as unto the Lord, the rest of it is his affair.
He is just and he knows what he’s about in the Earth. And if you are an authority, he will honor you.
He will honor you.
There’s a story told True story about Eric Little.
Chariots of fire. You probably saw that movie. Amazing story. Little was a Scottish missionary and he ultimately died on the mission field, but he was also very fast and he got to go to the Olympics and when they did the preliminary heats, it wasn’t even the main race but his particular.
Domination that he served had a very strong.
Uh, teaching about the Sabbath that they couldn’t do anything on the Sabbath.
They scheduled the opening heat of the Olympic Games. This guy had worked out regardless of the Olympics and he was favored and he got to the Olympics and they announced that the opening heats for his race. We’re going to be held on Sunday.
He went to the head of the Olympic Committee and he said I can’t do it.
I said, what do you mean? Then he went the Prince of England was there and I went to him and.
He said I I can’t do it.
Everybody tried to convince him and he said no, so he didn’t get to run in the race that he was most favored to win a gold medal in.
And so as a result, they tried to hit some sort of compromise and somebody else gave up his position on a relay so.
Little could run.
And right before he was getting ready to run, that’s depicted in the movie.
I guess it’s a true story. One of the American runners, Jackson Pollock. I think his name was Paddock, Charlie, Paddock or Jackson.
Sometime cameras name.
Walked over to him and he had a piece of paper with a note on it and and he’s getting ready to get down in his stance. Guy gave him a piece of paper and this is what it says.
Who honors me him? Will I honor? But it was a quote from the Scriptures, and the rest is history. Who won the race and he became a great spokesman for the Lord in his generation.
Because if you do the right thing for the right reason, the rest of the outcome is really to do with the Lord.
Let’s talk for a minute about the shepherds tools we read. In Romans 13 there to honor the civil authorities, Paul told Titus, be subject be obedient for the Lord’s sake now.
Every little shepherd boy there came a time as sort of a rite of passage where his dad would take him and they go into the woods and they would cut down a little sapling and they would get the the root ball from the ground and they would cut it and it would all be tailor made and they would whittle it down just to fit this little boy’s hand. So as he grew up, it was a tailor made weapon.
For him and the root ball would be sanded down to where it was like a cudgel with a rod on the end of it.
There was a long handle and that was the shepherd’s rod and it was custom made for his hand and then they would practice with it.
They would practice it because the rod, the rod of authority, David said by Rod and my staff. They comfort me. The rod was designed to be thrown.
It was designed to be thrown at predators. It was also designed to be thrown at Sheep who got out of the perimeter too far and they were going to get into trouble.
Weasel Shepherd Boys got good enough.
They’d they’d fling that thing.
And hit the sheep in their head and get his attention so he didn’t go any further.
But it was designed to be thrown and they got very, very good judges chapter 20 that they had the tools we need to turn it.
I’ll just tell you the verse in judges chapter 20. If you don’t think Shepherd Boys used their tools very good ask alive.
But then again, you can’t ask Goliath Kenya.
What did David dispatch him with?
A little shepherds pouch and some sling stones that he just threw, but he threw them very well. They threw the rod and they threw it very well in judges chapter 20 it said there were 700 left handed Benjamites, 700 S paws.
It says they could sling a.
Stone at a hare and not miss.
So if they could do that with a sling, what could they do with a lot?
I get the feeling that they knew what they were doing and if somebody was on the perimeter. Phillip Keller who wrote the book A Shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm, tells the story of being in Africa and he was with the Masai Shepherd and they were getting ready to do something and somebody was going to move a big boulder.
To get the path such that the sheep could go through and he said it happened so fast he didn’t even know what happened.
They moved the boulder and the Messiah warrior next to him that had this. This cudgel with him they moved the boulder and there was a cobra.
He said that it was a blur. He didn’t even know what happened. The guy had the thing in his hand. He had it dispatched. There was holding it up dead before he even knew what happened.
Because the Good Shepherd uses the rod for protection, he uses it for inspecting the sheep. Let’s.
Talk about that for a minute.
The rod was for throwing, but it was also an extension of the shepherds right hand. Literally, it was used to hit predators. It was used to. I wrote a word Bing.
Boom, it just seemed like the right word.
To build the sheep that we’re getting a little bit outside our dog that we had for a while. Sadie the Wonder dog.
She used to write elementary school and she was running as fast as she could and there’s one of those jungle gym things over there and she just got to run and couldn’t stop. Ran under it, but not all the way under it. And you heard her head going.
Yeah, that’s where I got the noise from.
And she came.
Back and looked at me like I hate it when that happens.
So this upper would just throw this thing and we could. I mean, I think it would, uh, her with a sling stone.
I have a hunch they could do some damage with one of these rods, but it was supposed to be catch this. The projection of the shepherds will the projection of the shepherds power and.
The projection of his protection of the sheep.
You know the United States Navy has a military doctrine that they teach, and it’s called the projection of power.
That’s when an aircraft carrier is. It is a projection of power that’s designed to be a deterrent, not to use. But when you see what else stays off your coast, it gets your attention.
And that’s what it’s been used for in peacetime as a projection so that the predators would come in Little Shepherd boys could pick them off.
But there was something else turned to Ezekiel chapter 20. This is what the shepherd did with.
His rod too.
Ezekiel chapter 20
Verse 34 Ezekiel 2034 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you’ve been scattered with a mighty hand.
I’ll probably with a mighty hand and outstretched arm and with Outpoured wrath I will bring you into the desert of nations and then.
Her face to face, I will execute judgment on you as I judged her fathers in the desert or land of Egypt.
So I will judge you to close the sovereign Lord. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant, and I will purge you of those who revolt.
And rebel against me, although I will bring them out of the land where they’re living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel.
Then you’ll know that I’m the Lord. I am going to bring you under the rod. One of the things that a Good Shepherd does is he inspects the sheep for things that aren’t immediately evident.
My brother Joe has really curly hair.
It’s almost ***** hair and you know when he let that grow and didn’t get a haircut. I mean you could hide a baloney sandwich in there for weeks and no one would know. I mean, he just he had this really thick hair. And and if.
From if you’ve ever seen anybody who has really thick hair.
You know, even if you try to run a comb through it, it’s a pretty big deal. Now, what happened if there was a cut on your scalp that nobody saw? Or how many of you have kids in elementary school? You know where I’m going with this?
I’ll just tell you the remedy. Knit Nix Nix. I forget what it was. You get the call. Hi, it’s the secretary at the school. Yeah, we’re having a head lice.
Oh yeah, and so. Then you.
Get your little column and you do all that stuff and oh, I’ve talked to people who worked in the office and that’s what they do all day long. Just check the little kids for critters.
And so that’s going on, and so it could be parasites. It could be a wound, or it could be.
A defect that isn’t evident but will ultimately cause harm if it’s not exposed.
And how did they find it out? The good ship would bring the sheep and one by one he would rub the rod over the wool to expose what wouldn’t be seen normally, and he would use the rod to do that too.
How about this one? Psalm 139.
Search me oh God.
Know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there would be any hurtful way in me.
And lead me in the way everlasting.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I prefer is for somebody. There was a strangest thing that I ever went through in my life when we did a chaplain training back in North Carolina.
It’s when we did the orientation to serving with Marines, and so we’re going to serve him range. You have to know what they do out in the field and so part of our training is to go out into North Carolina.
It was 97 degrees 90% humidity. I was introduced to all sorts of things chiggers.
I now know what sugars are.
I hosted a few of them on my body. I found out about tics and what it was. The strangest thing you never saw anything so funny in your life, but these are all ministers.
Most of them are in their late 30s, early 40s. We’re trying to do this. We’ve been in the field for four or five days and the last part of the exercise was something.
I will never forget. We had to check each other for ticks.
And I don’t have much to tell you except that we had to stand there naked with her partner and check each other for ticks.
I got to know this one pastor from Chicago very well. We’ve become fast friends, but I mean just the idea of that.
You know why would you want to do it? Because you can have something catch this part. You can have something.
Fix itself to you and begin to SAP your strength and you don’t even know what’s going on until something way worse happens and the Good Shepherd takes his rod and he begins to just examine and to check you out. Why to hurt you? No, because he wants to heal you.
But he doesn’t want something worse to happen to you later. Excuse the pun, but I guess we can’t pull the wool over the Lord’s eyes.
I don’t think we can.
In fact, you know elsewhere your Bible will is emblematic of self will and pride.
The high priest wasn’t supposed to wear what was he. Why was that? ’cause it’s it’s emblematic of our self sufficiency.
Now, if we’re wise, we’ll go to the Lord and say I want to pass under the rod of your authority.
I want that to be something in your hand that you can throw at a predator that’s trying to to kill.
And to wound up, we talked about the the shepherds rod. But what about the staff? David said, your rod and your staff. They comfort me.
The staff was a whole different implement. It was the long thing that had the crook end to it. You know, that’s the most common image, in fact, that Roman Catholic bishops carry what they call a closure.
And so on, and then with the cooking, it’s emblematic of their shepherd role as the shepherd of the sheep.
That’s why they do. That’s why Pope John Paul it’s real ornate thing. They usually have jewels and stuff, but what they are is supposed to be a symbol of their pastoral authority.
That’s why they have it.
And it’s different. It’s not designed to be thrown. This is designed for a couple of things.
First of all, if a baby got separated from the mom.
Dorothy, I got your message by the way.
Dorothy sent me a message. All she said was the Lambs are here and I know exactly what that means.
Thank you for telling me that, so I’ll be cruising the countryside looking at the little babies. I love it or baby. Shoot all the things it happens. Apparently with a flock. Is it the little ones?
Can be separated, and if it’s a big enough flock there can be confusion as to which one belongs to which one, and if the little one gets separated from mom too long, they’re in trouble, and so the shepherd will use that staff to. He won’t pick the sheep up himself because he doesn’t want his scent on it.
But he’ll take the the staff and reunite the little one with mom and mom with the little one. And really, by doing that, you know the Holy Spirit.
One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is that one of the last verses in the Old Testament is that the Lord promised he was going to turn the hearts of the children toward the parents and the hearts of the fathers toward the children that was going to be one of the things that would prepare the way for the Lord to come.
I love it that the Lord loves us enough that he will begin to repair our relationships with his authority, but with his staff of guidance to to where he can take the little one and get him hooked up again with mom.
Another thing is probably the more obvious one is steering the whole flock in One Direction or another. That takes guidance and in John Chapter 16.
The world says that the Holy Spirit was going to be the one to guide us into all the truth.
And so the shepherd staff was used to guide the flock and and that can be, you know, relatively simple thing.
Or it can be a complicated thing, depending on what the sheep were doing, but I saw this was the cutest thing I was going up the I5 to Portland and I saw off to the side near Albany somewhere there was a flock of sheep and I.
I just watched him kind of keep my eye on the road and.
And there was there were all walking and there were. They were just looks so business like. There’s probably 100 sheep.
We were just walking but in the back there was a little one.
And he was just jumping up and down and springing around and running around in circles and rest up. We’ll just plodding along, but they want it detailed.
And it’s like, Whoopi, he was having fun and I thought you know, if you were trying to guide that group of sheep somewhere, you’d have to have two things going on.
You have to spot with the ones that were going the way you want him to go, but you’d have to watch the perimeter.
For the young, inexperienced ones who need the guidance to say quit playing and catch up with the others.
But the last one I just loved the most.
The reason the the crook is in the shepherd staff is so that he can get the attention of an individual sheep to bring it close to himself.
To bring it close to himself, apparently, shepherds sometimes will take the staff and they’ll be walking along and they’ll just hold it next to one of the sheep and hold it on him. Not do anything, just kind of touch him.
Doesn’t it just bless you when you’re someplace and one of your kids comes up and just puts their hand on your leg? Or they just kind of get next to you?
Or, you know, you guys are going to get married.
With some of these guys are going to get married and I just want every now and then and he just kind of puts her hand.
And that goes.
30 years from now.
40 years from now, the Lord give you strength. I pray you’re always just feeling for each other and touching each other to say.
It’s important that you’re here.
And sometimes the Lord does that and he uses the guidance of the Holy Spirit to do nothing other than.
Catch this keep in touch.
Let’s keep in touch.
I don’t know the particular thing that you’re in the middle of this morning, but I would hazard a guess.
But not everybody in here, but some of the really rebellious people you’ve gone your own way, sometimes away from what the Lord happened.
Yeah, I think you have. I have.
I think sometimes predators have been after you and you didn’t know it.
And sometimes the Lord uses the rod of his authority in a severe way. You know, sometimes the shepherd staff is just real gentle, but sometimes it’s.
To get your attention.
We need that sometimes, but in all of it, David would say thy rod and they said I staff.
They comfort me.
It reminds me that the Lord is near.
Because he’s so attentive and he won’t let me go my own way. He won’t leave me alone. He will use his lot of authority when it’s needed, he will use the staff to get me where I’m going and it’s all because he’s the Good Shepherd.
And he cares.
Father, I ask you today for those that are here that.
Maybe in recent days they’ve had to.
Get binged by you.
And I praise you for that. I praise you that you love us enough that you will use the projection of your authority to keep us from doing something stupid or dangerous or fatal.
Lord, I pray for those that.
Have for no other reason. Just been singled out. It seems to be drawn close to you.
In this particular season it might.
Be by virtue of loss or death, or.
For whatever reason, you’ve pulled them close and I pray father that they would relish the fact that you love them enough to draw them close to you.
Lord, for all of us, we want to pass under the rod of your authority for your inspection today. See if there will be any hurtful way in US and lead us.
In the way everlasting.
The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not.
Be in want.
Because your rod and your staff they comfort me.