Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Shepherds were watching their flocks by night...

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And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. (Luke 2:8-17)

Shepherds. Shepherds? Why them?
watch … by night—or, night watches, taking their turn of watching. From about passover time in April until autumn, the flocks pastured constantly in the open fields, the shepherds lodging there all that time. (From this it seems plain that the period of the year usually assigned to our Lord’s birth is too late). Were these shepherds chosen to have the first sight of the blessed Babe without any respect of their own state of mind? That, at least, is not God’s way.
“No doubt, like Simeon (Lu 2:25), they were among the waiters for the Consolation of Israel” [OLSHAUSEN];
and, if the simplicity of their rustic minds, their quiet occupation, the stillness of the midnight hours, and the amplitude of the deep blue vault above them for the heavenly music which was to fill their ear, pointed them out as fit recipients for the first tidings of an Infant Saviour, the congenial meditations and conversations by which, we may suppose, they would beguile the tedious hours would perfect their preparation for the unexpected visit. [Source: Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible]
Let us go, &c.—lovely simplicity of devoutness and faith this! They are not taken up with the angels, the glory that invested them, and the lofty strains with which they filled the air. Nor do they say, Let us go and see if this be true—they have no misgivings. But “Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” Does not this confirm the view given on Lu 2:8 of the spirit of these humble men? [Source: Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible]
Humble men, guiding and caring for the sheep of Israel. This is a well-known metaphor laced throughout the bible, starting with the first shepherd, Abel. (Genesis 4:4). The first human blood shed in the Bible was shepherd's blood, performed by an angry, jealous one who rejected God.

Who were shepherds in the Bible? Abel, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, Laban, Jacob's twelve sons, Moses, David, Mesha-- King of Moab (Jordan), Doeg, Amos, the shepherds who came to honor Jesus (source).

Source(s): Genesis 4:2
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

Genesis 21:28
Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock,

Genesis 13:5
Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.

Genesis 26:12
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.

Genesis 30:32
Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.

Genesis 29:9
While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.

Genesis 47:3
Pharaoh asked the brothers, "What is your occupation?" "Your servants are shepherds," they replied to Pharaoh, "just as our fathers were."

Exodus 2:17
Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

1 Samuel 21:7
Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's head shepherd.

2 Kings 3:4
Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep, and he had to supply the king of Israel with a hundred thousand lambs and with the wool of a hundred thousand rams.

Amos 1:1
The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

Luke 2:15
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

Luke 2:20
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Last Shepherd, the Best Shepherd

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

The shepherds in the field made "haste" to go. They did not hesitate to go and worship. Let us make haste to worship the Good Shepherd on this eve of His birth, He is deserving of all praise, glory and worship.

What Child Is This?



3 comments :

  1. Hi, thanks for posting this. I've often asked this question as well. Recently, one our youth group teens accidentally read the wrong set of verses when trying to read about Jesus being "a righteous Branch", but his error led us to these verses, which have a very unique tie-in to the shepherd verse above:

    Jer 33:12-13 (ESV2011)
    12) “Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks.
    13) In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD.

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    1. My dear sir, Similar events had led us to and earlier chapter in Jeremiah 31 1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. 4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. 5Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. 7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. 17And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border. 23Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness. 24And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks. 27Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. 28And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.38Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. 39And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. 40And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever." Oh my. what a promise. OM my, we are in those days. For the Lord of Hosts hath proclaimed the year of Jubilee.

      Robert

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    2. Hello Robert,

      Thanks for sharing the scriptures. Oftentimes, the address is enough, rather than re-pasting a wall of text. RefTagger will make the scriptures pop up live.

      The Year of Jubilee as described in the Old Testament book of Leviticus was a command for national Israel during Old Testament times. Here, it is defined:

      Image result for year of jubileewww.coos.org.sg
      In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

      It has nothing to do with the Church in the Age of Grace, or as you stated, "'we' are in those days". Unless I misread things, where is the verse that gives you the interpretation that the Year of Jubilee is now for us?

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