But God, You Entrusted Your Word to Shepherds
Written by: Taylor DiPaola
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That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
- Luke 2:8
The stars sparkled like tiny gems across the dark sky. Occasionally, a sheep stirred and bleated before nestling back into sleep. Some of the shepherds stood, watchful of the flock. Others rested, awaiting their turn to watch over the sleeping creatures. The night seemed the same as always. A few hours would pass, and the sun would come up. Nothing extraordinary should happen tonight.
But something extraordinary was happening. Something that the entire Earth would stop and recognize: a baby’s first cry ringing out in Bethlehem.
The shepherds didn’t know this. They couldn’t hear this cry from the fields that they and the sheep were on. They only knew of the twinkling stars and occasional bleating of a sheep on this dark night.
Suddenly, the brightest light that the shepherds had ever seen filled their vision, and the angel of the Lord appeared. Their eyes grew wide, and their hearts shook with fear. What was to happen to them?
“The angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David’” (Luke 2:10-11).
The words sunk into the shepherds’ hearts and minds. The long-awaited, anointed One had come! The Messiah, their Deliverer, had come!
Enthralled and ecstatic, the shepherds watched the host of angels come to sing praise unto God. The thought replayed in their mind: the Messiah had come!
They rushed to see the Messiah and proclaimed the good news to all who would listen. Luke 2:20 notes that afterward, they “went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”
God had chosen to announce Jesus’ birth to them! He had not announced the birth to King Herod, who could lavish the baby with fine linens, comfortable housing, and nationwide praise. He did not announce it to the religious leaders for them to come worship the baby and present the Messiah to all who came to the Temple. God defied mankind’s expectations and announced Jesus’ birth to the lowly shepherds who spent their nights out on hilltops protecting a flock of simple sheep. He did not look at status to decide who would be told of His Son’s birth. He chose people whose character was like His own—shepherds caring for a flock that needed them.
Our God defies mankind’s expectations every day. Sometimes, we don’t understand why, but God sees and understands more than we as simple humans do. He knows what is best; He knows our hearts and passions and desires. Then, He defies our expectations and presents us with something so much better than we could have ever imagined.
He chose to announce the birth of the Messiah to lowly shepherds, just as He chooses to take care of us and love us every day—even though He is an infinite, almighty, powerful God. We never need to doubt or question His love for us because He entrusted His Word to shepherds, just like He entrusts it to us today.
1. How has God defied your expectations in giving you His Word?
2. What parts of God’s Word have changed your life—just like the shepherds’ lives were changed?
Dear God, thank You for being willing to entrust Your Word to me. Thank You for not looking at my status in life but rather looking at my heart. I am so grateful that You defy my limited expectations and challenge my understanding of You. You are such a kind, caring God. In Your name I pray, amen.
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