The Sheep of His Pasture
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is
God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we
are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
David, who became king of Israel, wrote most of the Psalms, a "book" of
the Old Testament that is often included in New Testament printings to
comfort people in trouble with the rich text, consolations and promises
However, what is not recognised by most people is that David was one
of the very few people recorded in the Old Testament who knew God
on a personal basis. He was a man after God's own heart and was able to
write poems and songs to his Creator under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
As a result of this he was anointed with oil by God's last great judge,
Samuel, to replace the disobedient and undisciplined Saul as king of Israel.
He was placed in a position of authority and richly blessed with worldly
goods, remaining faithful to God's Covenant all his life. He was forgiven
the one time that he displeased God, because he repented of his sin.
Even his descendants were blessed in their kingship because of the
Covenant that David had made with his God:
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said,
Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy
servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee
in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee;
and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him
a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my
God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I
am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen,
a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give
therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that
I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so
great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked
this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing,
and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for
thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself
understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy
words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that
there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise
like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked,
both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings
like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep
my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will
lengthen thy days.
(1 Kings 3:5-14)
And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the
congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: And he
said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above,
or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that
walk before thee with all their heart: Who hast kept with thy servant David
my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and
hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Therefore
now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou
promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to
sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way,
that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me. And now, O God
of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto
thy servant David my father.
(1 Kings 8:22-26)
That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto
him at Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and
thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house,
which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and
mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me,
as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness,
to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep
my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom
upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There
shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall
at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my
commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go
and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out
of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed
for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb
and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high,
every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they
shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought
forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon
other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the
LORD brought upon them all this evil.
(1 Kings 9:2-9)
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of
Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and
Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the
children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come
in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their
gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives,
princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his
heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives
turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with
the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon
went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the
abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the
LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab,
in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination
of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives,
which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry
with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel,
which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this
thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which
the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as
this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes,
which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee,
and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not
do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the
hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but
will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's
sake which I have chosen.
(1 Kings 11:1-13)
Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam
over Judah. Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name
was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. And he walked in all the
sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not
perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless
for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to
set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did
that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside
from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save
only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
(1 Kings 15:1-5)
Most of us who profess Jesus Christ as our Lord have been blessed by the
words of the Psalms, but do they apply to us? Have we the right to expect
the promises and consolation to be meaningful in our lives?
The promises made by Jesus of Nazareth in the four gospels, as well as
the writings of the New Covenant - the book of Acts and those that follow
- only apply to those chosen ones who accept Jesus Christ as Lord, thereby
becoming born again Biblically and then remaining obedient, to the best
of their ability, to the Covenant with God through the Sacrifice and Blood
of their Covenant Representative.
Remaining obedient to the Covenant is obeying the wishes of God and
these are laid out in the Bible. By becoming a follower of God through
the Lord Jesus Christ we each become His disciple.
If, for example, we claim to be born again, but do not become baptised
Biblically, while this may not exclude us from heaven, it shows other people,
as well as God, that we are not obedient to His wishes; we don't love Him
If we claim to be born again but don't agree with a certain teaching
in the Bible, such as the ban on the practice of women preachers, we are
showing God lack of concern for His word.
He placed His word above His name, so what do we believe? If I were
to cross certain verses out of the Bible and you some others, soon there
would be nothing left. Shouldn't we rather obey those verses that we don't
understand, placing the burden of proof on the Person who wrote them, or
better still, trusting that He will show us those truths as we ask Him?
I once marked out with various coloured highlighters those passages of
the four gospels, where Jesus spoke to His disciples, the public at large
and the learned ones who were made up of the Priests, Saducees, scribes
and Pharisees etc. When I was a child, I was taught the following prayer
by my mother "Gentle Jesus meek and mild, look upon this little child.
.." Hallelujah, this is true. What also is true is what Jesus said to those
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which
had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on
the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man
which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he
saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do
evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when
he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness
of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth
thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole
as the other.
What is more important however, is what He said and did to His disciples.
These words were said and actions took place to those who were present
with Him at the last supper before His crucifixion - His disciples; they
don't apply to anyone not His disciple:
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was
come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved
his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper
being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot,
Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given
all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and
girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to
wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith
he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him,
Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What
I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were
not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(John 14:1-3 )
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch
that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in
me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide
not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather
them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved
you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in
Very comforting and very challenging words, not so.
My hope is that they will apply to me on that day.
My desire is that you have the same hope.
We that have that hope can now believe that the following passages apply
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He
maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still
waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and
I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
The LORD is my shepherd - Jehovah Roi. This is one of the names of God
and means - The faithful God who watches over and cares for us. Who keeps
The Bible is full of references to sheep and shepherds and which was
very significant to a people who, like David, were shepherds themselves;
they knew the traits of sheep.
We all have seen how sheep follow each other over hill and dale "like
sheep". Of all animals they are perhaps the most vulnerable. They are stupid,
as any animal trainer will acknowledge. If trying to swim and their wool
becomes sodden, they will drown. They don't have any built-in protection
such as claws - they are helpless, and reports are plentiful of a single
dog destroying an entire flock in one frenzy of bloodlust.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in
among you, not sparing the flock.
Without a shepherd to lead them to a green pasture, to a watering place,
to a shelter against the weather or predators, they are lost. The shepherd
uses his staff to protect his sheep and in David's case, he killed a lion
and a bear in defence of his father's flock.
If a sheep wanders away from the flock, it leaves the protection that
the shepherd provides and places itself in jeopardy. The same applies to
the sheep that fails to respond to the shepherd's call. Jesus said "My
sheep hear My voice" and He is called "that great Shepherd of the sheep".
So we who hear His voice obey His call for our own protection:
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom
shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host
should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise
against me, in this will I be confident. One thing
have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in
the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of
the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall
hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide
me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up
above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle
sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me,
and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said
unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from
me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me
not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother
forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Teach me thy way, O LORD, and
lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto
the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me,
and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed
to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the
LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I
say, on the LORD.
We then, who believe that God has made a Covenant with each one of us and
will therefore protect us bodily and spiritually, should start showing
faith in His promises. We should then believe, for example, that its no
longer necessary to insure the contents of our house, or our vehicle against
This action, like baptism, shows Him that we mean business with Him,
and which can only enrich our walk with Him.
This is an example of what James meant when he wrote "be a doer of
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good
pleasure to give you the kingdom.
May God bless you richly as you continue in your walk of faith in Him.
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.