For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, ~Psalm 95:7
One of the blessed metaphors that the Bible uses to describe our relationship to God is that of a shepherd to his sheep. Shepherding is one of the most arduous occupations. It is a very demanding work that is 24/7 in nature. A shepherd must be vigilant at all times. A shepherd must be concerned for the entire flock and about the one that wanders off every now and then. The writer of Psalm 95 declares, “We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
We see the role of the shepherd.
The shepherd leads the flock. The shepherd knows the best pasture for his sheep to graze in. The Psalmist said, “We are the sheep of his pasture.” God does not lead us into danger or temptation. His pasture is abundant and vast. He leads us to water sources that are calm and clear. The shepherd feeds the flock. Paul and Peter told the pastors they had trained to “feed the flock of God.” Shepherds must take the flocks out to pasture every day. A malnourished sheep is a danger to itself and to the rest of the flock. A good part of the day for every sheep is eating and grazing. The shepherd watches over the flock. The shepherd is to know the state of the flock. He is to maintain a vigilant eye against attacks from lions and wolves. One thing to keep in mind is that sheep only have one shepherd.
We see the responsibilities of the shepherd.
“We are…the sheep of his hand.” In Psalm 95, the hand of God is referred to three times: vv. 4, 5, and 7. The idea from this is that God’s hand represents power, control, and care. The Shepherd makes us. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Sheep are stubborn and self-willed animals. With his rod in one hand and his staff in the other, the shepherd uses strong leadership to help the sheep eat well and drink where they will not fall into the water. He makes us to be still and know that He is God. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” The Shepherd makes us so that we are in the right place doing the right thing. The Shepherd also takes us. Sheep sometimes have to travel through valleys. Valleys make sheep vulnerable to attack. However, the shepherd is with the sheep. The shepherd anoints the head of the sheep with oil. This is important because of the problem of parasitic diseases. Oil applied to the ears and nostrils of the sheep acts as a repellent. The oil soothes the face of the sheep from the dryness caused by burning sun and frequent winds. Sheep are in good hands with the shepherd.
We see the redemption of the Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He gave His life as the payment for our sin. He gave His life for us, so that our sin debt could be paid for in full. His blood that He shed was the blood of the everlasting covenant. It was not the sheep that died for the Shepherd, but the Shepherd Who died for the sheep.
We see the respect towards the shepherd. Sheep know the voice of the shepherd. When we hear His voice, we are not to harden our hearts. Sheep will wander away and put themselves at great risk because they will not hear the voice of the shepherd.
This morning, hear the voice of the Shepherd and follow Him. He leads us into the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Samuel 13-15