This evening our Psalms Bible study group covered the 23rd Psalm.
This had my mind wandering to sheep and shepherds so I though I would share some pictures I took while visiting the ruins of The Hittite Capital Hattusha in Turkey.
The pictures are of a shepherd at work with his flock of sheep.
Do you know the difference between a rod and a staff?
The staff traditionally has a crook on the end and is often what we see in pictures showing Christ as a shepherd. The staff is usually used to either guide the sheep when they are being moved, or to help keep them together as a flock.
The rod is much shorter than the staff and is used mainly for protection of the flock. The rod can be thrown or swung at a predator, or used to prod sheep to safety. The rod can also be used to help inspect the sheep by spreading the wool to see what is underneath.
The rod is more of a utility tool that can be used in many different ways to help protect the flock. The staff is used more for guidance.
A good shepherd will know when each tool should be used for the best management of the flock. We also need to remember that we need both guidance and protection.
Look at the majestic scenery in the background of this picture. Could you imagine spending all day watching your sheep in this environment?
In any case, the Kangal is a guardian dog and protects a flock of sheep. You can see the spiked collar that the dog is wearing. This is to protect the neck and also is used as a weapon when guarding the flock from predators like wolves or jackals.
However, if I needed a dog to help me guard my flock this would be my pick.