Originally written in 2004…
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3, NKJV)
These are the verses we are studying today. Whenever I read them, I can hear a song that has these words. In fact, I can think of several songs that use this verse! Why do so many songwriters love Psalm 100:3? Because it is such a comfort… a great song to have playing through your mind on a hard day.
When the Bible uses LORD in all caps, we can immediately substitute the name “Jehovah” or “Yahweh.” The Bible wants to be very specific about WHICH god it is referring to. After all, since the earliest of times, man has tried to invent gods and give the worship that belongs to Jehovah to their man-made gods instead. So beginning in the Genesis account of creation (see Gen. 2:4), the Bible clearly specifies that Jehovah God created the world and all that is in it, and you can trace Jehovah God’s mighty works through the Bible by watching for the word “LORD”.
That’s why the Message Bible paraphrases the verse this way:
“Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD.
He made us; we didn’t make him…”
In other words, only Jehovah is the true God. And who is the true God? It is Jehovah. This isn’t a politically correct statement. Allah is not the true God. Neither is Buddha. Neither can WE attain a status of god-likeness. We can’t be beautiful “goddesses,” a statement I hear often online.
One reason this statement crashes headlong with our culture is that we long for knowledge and wisdom. We want to show how smart we are. We congratulate others for their wisdom. We women go to others and call them “wise.” While many of them do possess great knowledge, this verse is quick to point out that “He made us; we didn’t make him.”
Some days we think we’ve got our health and the entire arena of medical science figured out. We brag that we’ve found the best diet ever or we’ve discovered a way to conquer cancer. But predictably, only a matter of years later, our best theories are turned on their heads. How much do we really know, after all? We can’t even make a good copy of a human, let alone the real thing. “He made us; we didn’t make him.”
I have noticed that when I allow myself to sin by worrying, I am in reality telling God that I can control the world better than He can. “Lord,” I pray, pretending holiness and submission, “would you please answer my prayer? After all, it wouldn’t be right for ____ to happen. You know how deeply it would affect ____. So Father, please hear my prayer and ____.” Very rarely do I pray as Jesus did, “Father, not my will but yours be done.”
In our pride, we make the mistake of accusing God of not caring about us. We think if He allows difficult circumstances into our lives, He must not really love us. How could a GOOD God allow BAD things to happen?
Let’s look at this verse again:
“We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
Not every one can make this claim, but if we know Christ as our Savior, we can!
- WE are His people… We have no inherent worth. We are not wise. But He loves us!
- We ARE His people… We have no reason to doubt God. When He makes a promise, it always comes true. He loves us!
- We are HIS people… We don’t belong to a fictional God who lives in a temple or on a shelf or in the recesses of someone’s imagination. He is Jehovah God, and He is real. It is to THIS God that we belong. And He loves us!
- We are his PEOPLE… While this promise was originally made to the nation of Israel, the New Testament makes it clear that the church has been grafted into Israel and that we also are the people of God. He personally cares about each individual, each family, each local congregation, and each nation of believers. Oh, how He loves us!
Life is difficult. God’s timing is impossible to understand. We often feel helpless and vulnerable. We feel like little sheep, alone on a pasture filled with dangerous cliffs, hungry predators, and violent storms. Yet this pasture belongs to Him, and we are His most priceless possession. Like sheep, we’re not very smart, and we’re often quite afraid. Yet like a good shepherd, He takes personal responsibility for where we walk, He protects us from those who want to harm us, and He becomes the Shelter when life gets stormy. He loves us!
And that is why the Psalmist shouts,
“On your feet now–applaud GOD! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence” (MSG).
And shouldn’t this make a difference in how we live?
P.S. Discussion question: Back in 2004, I wrote that “we can’t be beautiful ‘goddesses,’ a statement I hear often online.” Have you read similar things on women’s blogs, forums, or websites? What do you think is meant? What should be our response?