3b We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Israel was called by God to be “his people”. All genuine Israelites could say, “we are his people”. God has so often referred to Israel as “my people” (cf. Exodus 3:7, 10; 5:1; 2 Samuel 3:18; Psalm 81:8). Likewise, in these days, God has called us (who are not of Israel) through the Lord Jesus Christ to be His people. In 2 Corinthians 6:16, we read: “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Again in Titus 2:14, we read that Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
How great indeed is God’s grace towards us, that we can say: “we are his people”! Though we were once alienated from God, His grace has received us as “his people.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 declares, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Truly, it is a very great honour which God has bestowed upon us, that we can boldly say: “we are his people”.
Since He has received us as His people, He will also care for us as “the sheep of his pasture”. Psalm 95:7 records thus, “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” The LORD will take care of His people as tenderly as a shepherd cares for his sheep. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11). The LORD will see to all our needs, and guide us every step of the way.
God’s people must acknowledge that they are not self-made individuals. Rather, God has created and redeemed them and He now nourishes and nurtures them daily. We are what we are because of the LORD’s gracious provisions and guidance. So, like the sheep that gather around their shepherd, let us commit ourselves to the LORD, our gracious and loving Shepherd, with grateful hearts. Let us say to our God, “So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever” (Psalm 79:13).