Saturday, December 22, 2007

HEAVEN'S GIFT - Part 14-15

The Angel of the Lord came to the shepherds, proclaiming they had good news. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." For centuries the Jews had been waiting for the Messiah to come. In Genesis 3:15 God had told Adam and Eve that one day He would bring one into the world that would crush Satan’s head…that one would be the "seed of the woman". In Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah had prophesied of the virgin birth "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel". Now after all the waiting, the arrival of the Messiah has been proclaimed to these lowly shepherds. They were given specific instructions on how to find this baby. Not every baby in town would be found in a stable (or cave) nor would he be wrapped in swaddling clothes (grave clothes)!

But, before the shepherds had time to even catch their breath and take in what the Angel of the Lord had said to them, the sky was suddenly ablaze with a "multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men." Can you just imagine that sight?!! The Heavenly Host all around you? If you have ever placed your faith in this Son proclaimed by the Angels, one day YOU will experience just that!! For in Heaven the angels are always around the throne of God saying "Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things and for your pleasure they are created." (Rev. 4: 11). In Heaven there will be ten thousand times ten thousand angels ! "And I beheld and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and…..the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Rev., 5: 11, 12)

WOW!!!!!! Can you even conceive of that in your human finite mind? I don’t think I can. But that night in Bethlehem, the shepherds got a "sneak peak"! They were the first to give praise to the Lord! Why not join them today and stop for a few moments and just praise the Lord. Don’t give Him your wish list. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t make intercession for others. Just for a few moments, get on your knees if possible and if not, then bow in your heart and worship Him as the angels do day and night. One day we will join them around the throne. It won’t hurt us to practice a little now. HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!!!!!!!!!!

Part 15

"And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another ‘Let us go now even to Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, lying in a manger," Luke 2: 15, 16

The shepherds wasted no time in responding to the angels’ message. Leaving your post was not an option for a shepherd. Someone had to watch the sheep at all times. But that night, they KNEW they had to go. I think they knew that angels were watching over those sheep and I have a feeling when they returned, that the sheep were just as they had left them. At any rate, NOT going was not an option. Angels from Heaven had come to give them---- SHEPHERDS of all people----- the good news and they were NOT going to miss this! The Savior had been born! The Messiah they had been waiting for was in Bethlehem and they had to find him.

So off to Bethlehem they went. The angels had given them all the clues they needed. Although Bethlehem was filled with people that night, there was only ONE baby that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger! That baby was JESUS.

Mary’s few quiet moments alone with her precious baby were over. As they rested in the stable with the animals, baby Jesus had been carefully placed in the manger of hay so that he, too, could sleep. Mary and Joseph had to be exhausted. They had made the long journey, Mary had gone through labor and given birth and now all was quiet. Then, without warning, some shepherds came out of nowhere, peeking inside the stable. When they saw the baby, wrapped in the swaddling clothes and lying in the manger, they knew they had found baby JESUS. Can’t you hear them?

"Look! There in the manger….it’s a baby and he’s wrapped in swaddling clothes! It’s Him…..It’s the Messiah!" they must have proclaimed. Mary and Joseph’s heads must have turned to see who was approaching them and partly in awe and partly in fearful protection, I’m sure they must have come to attention very quickly at the sight of this rag tag bunch of smelly shepherds.
As they drew near to the manger, they bowed very low and began to worship Him. How humbled Mary and Joseph had to be. The reality of the fact that their baby was the Son of God must have really began to sink in at that point. Up until then, it may have seemed like any other pregnancy and any other delivery……but at that moment when the shepherds came and found Him, when they called Him their Messiah, when they told Mary and Joseph about the angels and the angel’s message…..reality really began to set in. This was no ordinary baby. Truly this was the Son of God!!

No comments: