Watch, Pray, And Wait

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:8-12

I’ve often heard shepherds were liars, looked down on, poor, and of low estate; they were just poor, humble men, and that is who Jesus came to save; besides, the people could identify with them. But have you ever read where an angel of God appeared to a man or a woman who was wicked and unreliable, especially to bring them good news of great joy? No. Not once.

What I have read, though, was that angels appeared to devout men, men who were looking for and waiting on the redemption of Israel. Godly men who were serving the LORD. Abraham, Lot, Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel, Mary, Zachariah, Joseph, the apostles, Cornelius, the women who went to the tomb after Jesus rose from the dead, Peter, John, Paul, and countless others. There is not one unworthy man or woman that an angel appeared to. Matter of fact, Jesus wouldn’t even talk to King Herod just before His crucifixion.

So, I would venture to say that the reason the angels appeared to the shepherds is because they were watching, and praying, and hoping, and not because they were unworthy, or poor and humble, or any of the list of things they said. There has to be another reason, and that reason has to do with their job.

These men were not just ordinary shepherds. They were highly trained Levitical shepherds who specialized in recognizing and caring for sacrificial lambs. They were the shepherds who kept watch over the sacrificial lambs that would be used in Temple sacrifices, such as the two daily lambs: one for the morning sacrifice and one for the evening sacrifice.

Then there was the special feast and ceremonies like the New Moon sacrifice and the Feast of Passover. So, these knew the prophecies. They knew the Scriptures. They knew that the Feast of Passover was a shadow of things to come. They knew that one day, the Promised Messiah would come and redeem Israel. They were watching and waiting. If you want to hear from God, you have to watch and pray. You have to be waiting for God if you want to hear from God.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Watch, Pray, And Wait.

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