Sunday, November 27, 2016

26 Devotions Focusing on Christ in the Nativity Alphabet--Camel

Nativity Alphabet by Krista Hamrick

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Nativity Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 words in the Nativity Alphabet are so intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows. My heart has been drawn to write 26 Devotions Focusing on Christ in the Nativity Alphabet.

While pondering the word, “Camel,” I was inspired by The Song of the Camels by Art Garfunkel and Amy Grant…“To the sound of our bells we came, With huge soft stride, Kings riding upon our backs…Out of the east brought on by a dream of a star…Our goal was…a child in his mother's lap…Dust swirled through the town, As all in their royal robes, Our masters knelt down…At the feet of the babe in the manger”…

Matthew 2:1-12 NASB
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him”…they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

As we see from this Scripture, it does not specify the number of wise men who came to visit Jesus. However, Biblical scholars inferred that there were three because of the number of gifts that were given to Jesus—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There is no mention that the wise men were kings, nor are there camels in Matthew's account. So, where did the idea come from that the wise men were camel-riding kings?  The idea of three kings and the presence of camels is linked with two Old Testament prophecies.  Psalm 72:10-11 reads: "May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him." Isaiah 60:1-6 highlights the double meaning of the visit of the wise men: that the light of Christ has come into the world and is for all people.  The prophecy reads: "Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you…Nations shall walk by your light, kings by the radiance of your dawning, raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you, Your sons from afar…Then you shall see and be radiant…For the riches of the sea shall be poured out before you, the wealth of nations shall come to you. Caravans of camels shall cover you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense and heralding the praises of the Lord.” The prophecy from Isaiah suggests that the wise men came from what is now Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. If so, they probably did come on camels, since Midian especially was known for its abundance of camels.

And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”

We may not be kings or wise men riding camels from the East, but we can experience the worship of our King by laying down our crowns. Just as in Revelation 4:9-11 as the heavenly company gathers, the twenty-four elders fall down before God, lay their crowns before Him, and unite in praise: “You are worthy! You created everything.” Just as the twenty-four elders lay down their crowns, we are to lay down our best efforts, our victories, spiritual gifts, and ministries, and bow in worship. We have nothing that we haven’t received from God.

Corrie ten Boom said that after she spoke, people often showered her with accolades and compliments. But when she got back to her room, she would bow before the Lord and—just like a bouquet—offer to Him every word of praise she had received. Someday every knee will bow, and we will join the elders and the company of heaven to worship the King of kings, but in the meantime, we can still worship the creator and sustainer of the universe, who is worthy to receive all glory and honor and power.

Lord Jesus, thank You for this picture of Your glory being celebrated in heaven. You are worthy! It is for You and because of You that all things exist. Give us glimpses of how infinite, limitless, and majestic You are so that Your glory is our focus. Draw us into worship. I lay my crowns before You, Lord—all that I’ve done or accomplished, all that I am, I give to You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Revelation 4:9-11… pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Revelation 4:9-11… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Revelation 4:9-11…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Weekly LinkUps…


  1. That's a delightful story about Corrie Ten Boom. I hadn't heard it before!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Helene...many blessings to you!

  2. Wow, I've never seen that artwork before and it's so lovely! Thanks for sharing it and I love your idea to write these posts to match!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Krista Hamrick's beautiful artwork has so inspired me. It is a joy to share with others. Many blessings to you ❤️

  3. Replies
    1. Aileen, thanks so much for stopping by! Many blessings to you!

  4. What beautiful artwork! Enjoyed reading the camel devotion. :) Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.

    1. Brandi, thank you for stopping by! It is a joy to link up with sweet sisters in Christ at Literacy Musing Mondays. Many blessings to you!


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