Wednesday, December 9, 2015

There's More to The Story

Tower of the Flock - Migdal Eder
God never wastes an action.  Everything He does has meaning and purpose.  The moment Jesus was born carried significance regarding His mission, including where He was born.

Most of us have heard the prophecy from Micah 5:2 that was quoted by the priests when Herod asked where the Messiah was to be born.  In Bethlehem.  But did you know there was another prophecy in Micah.  It is Micah 4:8:  As for you, watchtower of the flock,
    stronghold[a] of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”

So Messiah was going to be born, not just in Bethlehem, but in the "watchtower of the flock," or Migdal Eder.  This was a tower that was used to watch over the flocks but included an area with a manger where shepherds would inspect the sheep.  This was especially true for shepherds in the area of Bethlehem because they were not ordinary shepherds but those who raised lambs to be used in the Temple sacrifices.

Genesis 35:16-21 puts the location of Migdal Eder just beyond Rachel's tomb, which is at the edge of modern Bethlehem.  Why is this so important?

First, the shepherd's knew where to go because they went to the place where lambs were inspected and a part of the process was to wrap them in cloths so they would not blemish themselves.  The sacrificial lambs must be without spot or blemish.  The angel's words, "you will find the babe wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,"  told them where to go.

Second, they were accustomed to inspecting and declaring the lambs to be fit.  So when they went out from seeing Jesus and "spread the word" concerning what they had seen and been told, they were letting people know that the Lamb of God had been born, a perfect male lamb.

You can read more about this in a book by Alfred Edersheim called The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.  What is the good news for us?

God doesn't waste anything in life, even the difficult things.  That is why it says "He works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes."  Romans 8:28

So whatever you have or are experiencing in life, God is going to use in some way for good.  And He will receive glory in how He does it.  So take heart.  God can even use _____________ (fill in the blank) to bring about something good ultimately.  And that can bring us hope in the midst of the storms.

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