For behold, Adonai, Yahweh of Hosts, is about to remove from Jerusalem and Judah both staff and support,
the whole staff of bread and the whole staff of water . . . and the people will be oppressed.
Isaiah 3:1, 5
It belongs to the essence of sinful man that he is blind to the staff of God. As we learn from Isaiah 3, it is God who supports both men and nations with bread, water, wise spiritual leaders, capable statesmen, skillful artisans, brave soldiers, and more. All of these are His gracious gifts: in love He places them beneath our hands like a sturdy staff, so that we might walk securely with Him.
But sinful man is blind to the staffs. And when sinful man walks deeper and deeper in his native willfulness, foolishness, and ingratitude, God wisely removes the staffs one by one, so that he is oppressed, so that he may recover his sight, so that once again he may learn to lean on Him.
It is written that the aged, dying Jacob blessed his sons while worshiping God and leaning on the top of his staff. In his youth, Jacob had walked foolishly; but in his old age he had learned to lean on his God.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ is the one staff of God, given to us that we may lean on Him and so have bread, water, guidance, skill, courage, victory, and everything else we need to walk securely through this wicked world. It is no shame to admit our weakness; it is no shame to lean on Him. To the contrary, it is our glory and our joy.
How I wish we did not have to experience so much weakness and so many stumblings! But if they give us eyes, and if they teach us to lean on the one all-sufficient Staff of God, then I praise the Lord for them all. And I hope you will join me in doing the same.