Summary: God’s Glory shown around the shepherds and it will shine once again around his sheep.
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Pastor James May
THE SHINING OF GOD’S GLORY
For centuries the land of Israel had prayed, hoped, sacrificed and waited for the coming of their Messiah. Literally millions of bulls, goats, sheep and other animals were sacrificed as a symbol of that Messiah and His sacrifice that would deliver them from the oppressive hands of their enemies and that would mark their sin debt, Paid In Full!
During all of those years Israel had known both times of peace and times of war; times of freedom and times of captivity; times of great joy and times of deepest sorrow.
In the times of peace and of war there were those common people who did their best to go about doing their daily routines as best they could. The very survival of the people depended largely upon the faithfulness of the common man to just continue doing his work no matter what was going on until the closeness of the conflicts would force him to leave his duties and seek safety.
The very survival of the church and the work of the gospel depend upon each of us doing our daily work for the Lord. Though the battles between men and nations may rage about us, we must continue to do our best to work in the harvest fields of our Lord.
All too often we hear of those who would tell us to horde money, weapons, food and water for the hard times ahead. While I believe in preparation and providing for your family’s needs, I think that the more important thing for us to be doing is to work for the salvation of lost souls and not stick our head in the sand and go into a defensive mode.
The Church that Jesus is coming after will be a victorious church, without spot or wrinkle, not some weak, emaciated church that is hiding in seclusion or cowering in fear!
Among those who continued to do their duty year after year in the land of Israel, there were those men and their families whose livelihood was one most of the disrespected jobs of all. They were the sheep herds and those who cared for the flocks of sheep, the herds of cattle and all of the other animals that were useful for food, for clothing and for the continuation of the rites of sacrifice unto God.
Most of the shepherds were accustomed to a life without much excitement and without much wealth. The live of the common shepherd consisted of nothing more than feeding, caring for, and protecting the flock of sheep under their control.
You may can relate to this in your own life by looking at the day to day routine that you live right now. After a fashion we are all like shepherds for we care for our children, we watch over our families, we protect our loved ones from harm as best we can and life seems to be most dull and boring at times.
I have heard life described this, “Life consists of long periods of repetitious and boring activities, interrupted with moments of extreme pain, sorrow and anxiety.” Does that sound like your life? It certainly describes mine. Not that we don’t enjoy life and live life to the fullest.
And so, for thousands of years these shepherds had trudged ever onward in their work caring for the flock. By day they would be ever vigilant to watch over the sheep and feed them. By night they would always have to gather the sheep into the fold, close the fences around them for protection and then sleep nearby to be ready on a moments notice to leap to their rescue if trouble came. Thieves, robbers and wolves were an ever present danger so the shepherds had to be on constant alert.
From the dawn of Creation to this day there have been those who lived their lives faithfully watching over the promises of God and keeping His Word hidden in their hearts. Sometimes there were only a few but there has always been a remnant who was willing to give their lives in defense of their faith in God.