“Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,
for He is our God.
We are the people He watches over,
the flock under His care.
If only you would listen to His voice today!”
Psalms 95:6-7 NLT
Have we ever had that impression that someone is looking at us? On the bus? Across a crowded room? In a meeting? When that happens, how do we feel? Threatened? Insecure? Frightened? Wondering if we have spilt our soup down a clean shirt? Or do we shrug it off and move on? Well, never mind what is happening in our natural environments, we have a constant Presence watching us in the realm of the spirit. The Psalmist points out that God is watching us. But he is not just glancing in our direction. His “watching” is much deeper, much more profound – it extends into caring. The Psalmist uses the analogy of a flock, of sheep or goats, being under the care of a shepherd.
We can dip into the Gospels to build on this analogy. In John 10, Jesus taught the people using a situation they would all understand. The everyday world of looking after flocks of animals. And in verse 11 of this chapter He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” And that is exactly what Jesus did. There came a day when He laid down His life for all mankind, in that amazing, loving, humbling, yet tragic act of self sacrifice at Calvary. And because of what Jesus did, we can become part of God’s “flock”, and enjoy His caring and watching for ever.
The Psalmist ended this section with the statement, “If only you would listen to His voice today!” I think there is a hint of frustration in these few words. As I look around me in the community in which I live, I see good people who don’t know Jesus. And in this season, when we celebrate the Birth of Jesus, I echo the Psalmist’s sentiments, but with the prayer that the Holy Spirit will overturn the “if only” into the reality of a new soul being welcomed into God’s flock. And use us, His people, to do the introduction.