For he is our God - Here is the reason for this service. He has condescended to enter into a covenant with us, and he has taken us for his own; therefore: -
We are the people of his pasture - Or, rather, as the Chaldee, Syriac, Vulgate, and Ethiopic read, "We are his people, and the sheep of the pasture of his hand." We are his own; he feeds and governs us, and his powerful hand protects us.
To-day if ye will hear his voice - To-day-you have no time to lose; to-morrow may be too late. God calls to-day; to-morrow he may be silent. This should commence the eighth verse, as it begins what is supposed to be the part of the priest or prophet who now exhorts the people; as if he had said: Seeing you are in so good a spirit, do not forget your own resolutions, and harden not your hearts, "as your fathers did in Meribah and Massah, in the wilderness;" the same fact and the same names as are mentioned Exodus 17:7; when the people murmured at Rephidim, because they had no water; hence it was called Meribah, contention or provocation, and Massah, temptation.
For he is our God - Not only the God whom we worship as the true God, but One who has revealed himself to us as our God. We worship him as God - as entitled to praise and adoration because he is the true God; we worship him also as sustaining the relation of God to us, or because we recognize him as our God, and because he has manifested himself as ours.
And we are the people of his pasture - whom he has recognized as his flock; to whom he sustains the relation of shepherd; who feeds and protects us as the shepherd does his flock. See the notes at Psalm 79:13; compare Psalm 23:1-3.
And the sheep of his hand - The flock that is guided and fed by his hand.
To day if ye will hear his voice - His voice calling you; commanding you; inviting you; encouraging you. See this passage explained in the notes at Hebrews 3:7-11. The word “today” here means “the present time;” now. The idea is, that the purpose to obey should not be deferred until tomorrow; should not be put off to the future. The commands of God should be obeyed at once; the purpose should be executed immediately. All God‘s commands relate to the present. He gives us none for the future; and a true purpose to obey God exists only where there is a willingness to obey “now,” “today;” and can exist only then. A purpose to repent at some future time, to give up the world at some future time, to embrace the Gospel at some future time, is “no obedience,” for there is no such command addressed to us. A resolution to put off repentance and faith, to defer attention to religion until some future time, is real disobedience - and often the worst form of disobedience - for it is directly in the face of the command of God. “If ye will hear.” That is, If there is a disposition or willingness to obey his voice at all; or, to listen to his commands. See the notes at Hebrews 3:7.
Let us take in the idea of the privilege we have. There are so many who, when they are in trouble, fall into temptation and lose their bearings. They forget the invitations God has abundantly given, and begin to look and plan for human help. They go to human beings for aid, and this is the way in which their experience becomes feeble, and confused. In all our trials we are directed to seek the Lord most earnestly, remembering that we are His property, His children by adoption. No human being can understand our necessities as Christ. We shall receive help if we ask Him in faith. We are His by creation, we are His by redemption. By the cords of divine love we are bound to the Source of all power and strength. If we will only make God our dependence, asking Him for what we want as a little child asks His father for what he wants, we shall obtain a rich experience. We shall learn that God is the source of all strength and power. LHU 55.2Read in context »
Through Moses was given also the promise: “The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord.... And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.” Deuteronomy 28:9-13. 6T 351.2
The psalmist, speaking by the Holy Spirit, says: 6T 351.3
These promises given to Israel are also for God's people today. They are the messages which the Sabbath brings to us. 6T 351.5Read in context »
Oh, who will describe to you the lamentations that will arise when at the boundary line which parts time and eternity the righteous Judge will lift up His voice and declare, “It is too late.” Long have the wide gates of heaven stood open and the heavenly messengers have invited and entreated “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.” But at length the mandate goes forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11). HP 362.2Read in context »