|Nativity Alphabet by Krista Hamrick|
Centuries have rolled by, but the luster of that night has not passed away. There were many great men and many wealthy men in Palestine. There were scholars of the most profound and various learning. There were lean ascetics who had left the joys of home, and gone away to pray and fast in deserts. But it was not to any of these that the angels came, and it was not in their ears that the music sounded; the greatest news that the world ever heard was given to a group of humble shepherds. Few sounds from the mighty world ever disturbed them. They were not vexed by any ambition to be famous. They passed their days amid the silence of nature; and to the Jew nature was the veil of God. They were men of a devout and reverent spirit, touched with a sense of the mystery of things, as shepherds are so often to this day. Is it not to such simple and reverent spirits that God still reveals Himself in amplest measure?"
How fitting it was, too, that shepherds should be chosen, when we remember how the Twenty-third Psalm begins, and when we reflect that the Babe born in Bethlehem was to be the Good Shepherd giving His life for the sheep. It is generally supposed that these anonymous shepherds were residents of Bethlehem; and tradition has fixed the exact spot where they were favored with this Advent Apocalypse—about a thousand paces from the modern village. It is a historic fact that there was a tower near that site, called Eder, or “the Tower of the Flock,” around which were pastured the flocks destined for the Temple sacrifice; but the topography of Luke 2:8 is purposely vague. The expression, “in that same country,” would describe any circle within the radius of a few miles from Bethlehem as its center, and the very vagueness of the expression seems to push back the scene of the Advent music to a farther distance than a thousand paces. And this view is confirmed by the language of the shepherds themselves, who, when the vision has faded, say one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass”; for they scarcely would have needed, or used, the adverbial “even” were they keeping their flocks so close up to the walls of the city. We may therefore infer, with some amount of probability, that, whether the shepherds were residents of Bethlehem or not, when they kept watch over their flocks, it was not on the traditional site, but farther away over the hills."
Look In—as you meditate on Psalm 144:3-5 …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 Psalm 144:3-5 …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