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Tower Of The Flock- We Are Past Christmas But We Are Not Past The Lessons That Must Avail!

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Published on: December 30, 2022

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” -John 1:29

There are so many traditional images we have surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (born a sinless human being) and dwelling among us in order to save us from sin (Matthew 1:21).  We see images of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in a humble stable with cows or oxen, a donkey and some sheep, with the baby lying in a wooden manger slightly overflowing with hay or straw.  The shepherds are worshiping Him and the wise men are there bowing before Him as they present their gifts.  We may even see a little drummer boy standing by. We know from Scripture that the wise men, Magi, didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until Jesus was about two years old.  To be sure there was no little drummer boy.

We also think about the dramatic, brilliant and startling angelic announcement of the arrival of the Savior to the shepherds as they kept watch over their flocks by night.  These shepherds, we understand, were officially entrusted to care for flocks which produced unblemished lambs to be sacrificed as sin offerings in the temple.

“And the angel of the Lord said unto them, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” -Luke 2:10-12

The Greek word for manger is phatne, translated as “manger” in most English translations of the New Testament, actually means “stall”.  The sign to the shepherds was finding the baby wrapped swaddling clothes, special strips of cloth wound around the baby, lying in a stall. How could it be that this sign would tell the shepherds exactly where to find the baby Jesus?

Micah 5:2 tells us a ruler, the Savior, would come out of Bethlehem. This was confirmed by the chief priests and scribes when the wise men came to Jerusalem to look for the newly born King.

“…Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”  In Bethlehem, they were told (Matthew 2:2).  In the time of Jesus, just outside of Bethlehem, there was a former military watchtower that was now called in Hebrew, “Migdal eder”, which means “tower of the flock”.   The lower level was used for birthing lambs which would be closely examined and later be used for sin offerings in the temple in Jerusalem. This structure contained stalls for sheltering ewes who were about to bear their lambs. We are told there was one particular stall where the newborn lambs were placed, and wrapped in swaddling cloths to protect them from damage or blemish, in order for them to be acceptable for sacrifice (Exodus 12:5).

“And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee it shall come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” -Micah 4:8

So, at the direction of the angel, these shepherds, who knew, raised, cared for and closely examined sacrificial lambs, understood exactly where to find and examine the newborn King.  They would find Him in the tower of the flock, lying in a stall (manger) where lambs to be sacrificed for the sin of the people were born and wrapped in swaddling clothes. God arranged the perfect birthplace, for His only begotten Son, the perfect Lamb.

“…Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” -John 1:29

Now, knowing this, we should all live like it is Christmas every day ( 2 Corinthians 5:15).

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