I’m following a fantastic devotional series called “Christmas Joy” by Mel Lawrenz, from The Brook Network. Please join me. Here’s day five:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night. –Luke 2:8
It may seem like a stretch of the imagination, but try it anyway: If you were God, and could announce the arrival of the savior of humanity, would you send your messengers to some shepherds out in the fields, as they whiled away their nighttime watch? Why not instead send angels to an assembly of the religious council in Jerusalem? Why not to the megalomaniac King Herod? How about Caesar? Wouldn’t that be a night of work—to blow opens the doorways of society, to change everything with a few simple words.
Yet God chose the shepherds. Rough characters at that time, laborers who performed the tedious tasks that many others were unwilling to do. They appeared ragged, smelled of the flocks, and were used to sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
Often, the Bible tells of extraordinary shepherds. A millennia earlier, David, the “shepherd-king” of Israel, had cared for his people, just as he had cared for sheep when he was a boy shepherd in the fields outside Bethlehem. David could write the incredible words of Psalm 23, because he knew what it meant to be a good shepherd, and he knew that God was his good shepherd.
David tells us, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (vs. 1-2). And that isn’t all. The Lord guides. He protects with his rod and staff.
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