“…and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3).
As a boy we lived in Colorado, a state in the western mountain region of the United States. Sheepherders lived in the community where we lived. We could both see and sometimes smell these animals. On more than one occasion we had sheep wander through our land. While these wandering sheep were on our land, they did not belong there. They were not ours.
We learned from living there that shepherds know their sheep. Most shepherds where we lived used a numbered and colored tag that were pierced in their sheep’s ear. This system allowed any shepherd who found a wandering sheep to easily identify the owner of the sheep and the pasture to which the sheep belonged.
When the psalmist says we are “the sheep of his pasture,” he identifies two relationships. He points to the relationship the sheep have to God; we are His possession. The second relationship is one of protection. He says we are in His pasture.
In the Psalms, you will find the relationships of possession and protection mentioned. The familiar passage of Psalm 23 identifies these relationships. Look at these three passages as well.
“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).
“Thou leadest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalm 77:20).
“But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock” (Psalm 78:52).
God wants me to know I am His and He protects me. Delightfully, I am not a wandering and aimless sheep without a Shepherd. I am His sheep. I am in His pasture. He will go to great lengths to provide, protect, and pamper His sheep. As my owner, He drives away the wolves, worries, and wicked thieves.
Fellow sheep, mind not the discomforts of this life. Recall this truth; we are “the sheep of his pasture.” There will be no lonely moments of listless wandering. Yes, there will be panicked moments of wondering how will He provide and protect. However, if you are His sheep, His provision and protection will come. These assurances come with our relationship to the Shepherd.
Will you pause right now and reflect on God’s provision in your life? Today, will you share this with someone who needs to hear it?