11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
Often, our Father’s work through the Holy Spirits spoke to the people of the times in language they could understand along cultural lines, teaching them by using the things they used in their daily lives. This work by Solomon is among those deemed to be worthy among the surviving books, so G-d has preserved it for us.
But this line in particular is striking in its contrast: “…well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd” What does a shepherd know of nails? Maybe they’d helped to repair fences in their duties, but that wouldn’t take much in the way of words beyond the conversation needed to repair the fence.
A nail well-driven is the sign of knowledge and skill, and in the case of a carpenter, craftsmanship. A well-driven nail by a shepherd means the repair to the broken part of the fence is complete, and will hold fast all that remains inside of it, and withstand what comes against it.
Don’t miss the imagery of the implied prophecy: A Shepherd’s words are like well-driven nails. What did the words of Jesus do, and how are they like nails? Let’s consider:
They were painful to the hearts of the wicked and sinful, and when something causes you pain, you aren’t interested in anything but removing the source of it so that your life is comfortable again. The source of our spiritual pain is sin, and it’s only removed through repentance. Resistance and denial can also remove it, but it won’t cure the condition.
They were strong and drove through the blockage of whatever was hindering the work until Jesus spoke. Sickness, demons, nature, and death bowed to His will, and obeyed His commands.
They were enduring, because the use of cheap and ill-prepared materials meant the work would eventually fall apart. In that case a better, more lasting repair would need to be done, and cost more to the one in need of it.
They come at a cost because they must be purchased from the one who makes them. The Father gave the nails to the Son, but demanded a price from Him for using them for our salvation and redemption. And though He was given a seemingly impossible job to do, He loved us enough to buy them.
They are eternal because they will not pass away when we do. Neither will they pass away when He returns to see how well we’ve used the nails he’s given us to secure the hearts of mankind to His cross and resurrection.
Today let’s tell those we encounter about the Shepherd of unusual talents: the One who removes our sins, repairs our hearts, and refreshes our spirits, and redeems our souls.
Therefore I pray:
Father in Heaven,
Today this nation suffers with high emotions and heavy hearts. Our thoughts are fertile soil for the prince of this world to sow, and he is busy.
In the midst of the chaos and hate, let us drive words of healing, love, and peace through the hearts of those who are hurting, who have lost so much, and suffered through the departure of loved ones through no fault of their own.
Let us rise up in this hour to meet our divine appointments as shepherds to lead secure the disheartened within our compassion, driving off the fear and sadness of the times.
Reveal to us the task that lies nearest at hand, and give us the boldness and wisdom to do it, that we may be ministers in the healing work to come.
Keep us free from sin, and blameless of unrighteousness.
Keep us in Your sight as we seek to walk uprightly in a time of pain and rage.
Today, as we rise according to Your mercy, rejoicing in the day You have made, we pray for this nation and all who dwell within it so that Your mercy and grace may yet abide on us. We ask for another chance to get it right, to establish the justice and freedom we so claim to love for everyone that dwells in the land you have so richly blessed and prospered.
By Your mercy restore our peace, and help us to discern the signs of the times, that we might address the needs of this age, being counted fruitful and profitable servants deserving of entering Your kingdom in the age to come where no sin exists, every tear is dry, and every heart is healed.
In righteousness, peace, and joy may we honor You.