Why God sent His angels to the shepherds..

“Why did the angels tell the shepherds about Jesus’ birth, and not someone else?  Why the shepherds?  I was listening to a tape about that, and the question just hit me.”

This is an interesting question, in that the Bible really doesn’t have a straight, specific answer for it.  The Bible really doesn’t say WHY God sent His angels to the shepherds INSTEAD of to other people, but I can make a guess.

I think that God has this thing about shepherds.  He has a special place in His heart for those who are the lowest of the low in terms of the caste (or hierarchy, or social status) of their day.  Shepherds were the bottom of the barrel at that time.  They owned nothing but the clothes on their backs and the blankets under which they slept (if they even HAD one).  The sheep weren’t theirs, the fields weren’t theirs.  They were not educated at all, and there was really no way to move up and no longer have to be a shepherd later on.  You weren’t graded on how well you did your job, but instead were graded on if you did a bad job or not.  If no sheep ever died, and they all grew up healthy and well-cared for; well, that is what was SUPPOSED to happen.  As a shepherd, you got in trouble for not doing a good job, but you never got credit for DOING a good job.

And God loves shepherds.  Moses was a shepherd, David was a shepherd.  Throughout history God continued to choose shepherds to rule and lead His people.  Maybe they were good listeners.  Maybe God chooses shepherds because they have all this time to just sit there and talk to Him.  They don’t run around all busy, day after day after day.  They sit, and they watch sheep.  While doing that, I guess they have a bunch of free time to talk to God too.  Makes you wonder a little bit how much of what we do gets in the way of sitting and talking with God.  Maybe we should be shepherds too.

God loves those who are the weakest, because His strength is revealed (made perfect) through their weaknesses.(2 Corinthians 12:9)  If someone who is absolutely unable to do something all of a sudden can do that very thing through their relationship with God, then God gets the credit and His Name is glorified.  (Matthew 5:16)

It is pretty easy to see that God loves students too.  Sometimes the students I talk to feel just like a shepherd, that everyone else tells them what to do, and that they have no control over their own lives.  You get up in the morning with your mom or dad yelling at you to hurry up.  You sit down to breakfast that someone else chose for you.  You have to be at school at a certain time that someone else has decided for you.  He classes you take are limited choices, the teachers you face you rarely get to choose, the homework they give is mandatory and graded on completing it well (just like the shepherd, doing a good job is what you are SUPPOSED to do).  Through the whole day it seems that you are doing what other people tell you to do, with not much choice for your self.  Just like a shepherd.

And God loves you.  God sees you in your situation and He wants to choose you for something awesome.  Like being a ruler of thousands and thousands of people like Moses.  Or a king, like David.  God has an awesome plan for your life, but you have to let Him rule you.

WHAT???  Isn’t that just doing what someone else tells you to do again???  Where’s the freedom in that?

Well, the Bible has something interesting to say about this.  In Romans 6:16 it says, ‘Think about it for a second. Don’t you know that if you choose to sin (do things against God’s law) you become a slave to sin?  And if you choose to follow God you become a slave to God?’

See?  There really ARE ONLY TWO CHOICES; to follow God or not.

The Bible continues on this thought by saying in Romans 6:23 that ‘what you get from being a slave to sin is death, and what you get from being a slave to God is life, and life that doesn’t ever end.’

So, remember, God loves you, even if you feel worthless and unlovable.  God has an awesome plan for your life, even if it doesn’t seem possible right now.  I really doubt that David knew as he sat in a field smelling stinky sheep that soon he would be the king of all the Israelites.  But God knew.

And what does God know for you?  Dream a little.  Ask God to help you dream.  He has even give YOU a promise.

Listen to what GOD has to say to you today… “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

So, when you get to the point where you feel like you are unable to tackle any type of task, remember… you are now in the perfect place for God to do something awesome through you!  Just ask Him to.

Pastor Jeff

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