Count Me In ( God's Loving Protection and Correction ) Allan Halton 3/28/10
“And I will cause you to pass under the rod…” (Ezek. 20.37).
This is the way shepherds of old counted their flock. They would cause the sheep to go through a narrow passageway, and as each one passed by, the shepherd would touch the sheep with his rod. In this way he kept track of them and would notice if one had gone missing. (See also Lev. 27.32, Jer. 33.13).
But there is more to this than simply being numbered.
The shepherd actually had two instruments: a rod and a staff. The rod was used to deal with the predators, and also to discipline the flock. The staff was used to support and strengthen.
And so David said, “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” It’s interesting that he said, “Thy rod AND thy staff…” David recognized the value of the rod as well as the staff, and was comforted as much by it as by the staff.
It should be so with us as well when we are “under the rod.” We should recognize that our Shepherd, in causing us to pass under His rod—under His chastening and discipline—this is an expression of His love for us. This is the way He is counts us as one of His own. If we are without chastening, it’s an indication we are not his own, as the writer of Hebrews said (Heb. 12.8).
So when we find ourselves “under the rod”— when we find ourselves going through that narrow place, and passing under the rod of His chastening, let us not despise it, nor murmur and complain against it, nor seek to escape it. Let us recognize this for what it is: this is our Shepherd’s way of counting us in.
When He is disciplining us, He is “counting us in.”
“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”