The phrase, “…we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” is from Psalm 100. This is a powerful song of praise and instruction. The first thing you notice about the psalm is the relationship between praise and sound doctrine. The first two lines are expressions of praise, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:1 – 2. This is praise. Praise is directed to God, but it is also inviting to others. Praise attracts. Praise invites. Praise is the result of a revelation of God. Praise has a strong element of witness in it because it makes known what has been made known.
The next line is instruction; sound doctrine. “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3. This is revelation. Something to know, something to learn. And the point is what it follows; praise. You will learn from the one you trust, the one you praise, the one you advertise for. Right or wrong, you learn from the one you praise. Many have learned from sources that were misguided, landmines waiting to explode; but were trusted. As a result false teaching was learned; false identity accepted. This is why it is so important to study the Bible, to learn sound doctrine, especially when identity is the subject!
The sound doctrine that is presented is vital. It is God who made you. You belong to God. You are His and He is love. His desire is that you know Him and His eternal love for you, and that you learn of Him to love. The image of being one of His sheep is touching, for a good shepherd provides the best pasture for his sheep and fights for them. It reveals the true nature of God, and the view that He has for you and one you can have for yourself from His eyes and no one else’s. If you will trust Him. This is important in learning your true identity; whose eyes are you receiving it from and do you trust them? You can trust the LORD God.
The last line returns to praise because of what has been revealed in the third verse, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name.” Psalm 100:4. Praise always follows revelation. Praise is always inviting. It is a witness of who you know. Sound doctrine follows praise because it seeks to know more of what has been revealed. And when you learn sound doctrine, more praise is the result because more is revealed as you learn of Him who loves you. Knowing your true identity as a result of knowing God leads to praise, which then leads to more revelation and sound doctrine.
This psalm ends on a note of praise and sound doctrine, “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5. Declaring the goodness of God is praise. Knowing that his steadfast love endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations is sound doctrine. But again, the point is that you will learn from the one you praise.
Starting your time with God each day in the Psalms, with a different psalm each day, followed by Scripture readings from the gospels and the Old Testament, is the request to know God by the revelation of His word. It demonstrates to God the request, “Lord, I want to know You by revelation, from Your word.” Praising the Lord during your time with Him is the result of paying attention when He does reveal something of Himself to you. Saying back to God in praise and gratitude is the first step in praise, then finding opportunities to share with someone during the day that particular attribute of God is the invitation, or the witnessing part of praise. As you do, sound doctrine will result, and true identity begins to be seen with clarity and joy. Hallelujah!!!