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Just, Before God

Shepherd Birth

In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear came on me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake.

There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.

Then a spirit passed before my face. The hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I couldn’t discern its appearance.

Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

A form was before my eyes.

The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.

Silence, then I heard a voice, saying, ‘Shall mortal man be more just than God?

For there is born to you today, in David’s city, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?

This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.”

Behold, he puts no trust in his servants. He charges his angels with error.

Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.”

How much more, those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth!

When the angels went away from them into the sky, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Spiritual Warfare: Shepherd Birth

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Spiritual Warfare: Shepherd Birth

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Good News of Great Joy

Shepherd StoryJust, Before GodWe’ve just skipped a thousand years from the time of the Psalms to the Shepherd scene in the Christmas story.

Let’s take a look, and compare the passage in Job with this famous scene in Luke.

Protection vs. Fear

In Luke’s Christmas story, Shepherds keep watch over their flock by night. The story begins in a place of protection and safety, even in the darkness.

The story in Job also takes place in the night, but there appears to be no source of protection. Only fear.

Standing

An angel of the Lord stands before them. There’s no doubt who this angel is, or where he’s from. It’s an angel of the Lord. Glory surrounds them, like a circle or wall of protection. They’re terrified, but not for long. Fear will soon turn to astonishment.

A spirit passes before the friend of Job. It too stands still. It seems this spirit does not want to reveal itself, unlike the angel of the Shepherd scene, whose glory is unmistakable.

Good News

The angel tells them not to be afraid. He carries good news of great joy for all people.

The same cannot be said for the spirit taunting the friend of Job. It offers no words of comfort or joy. In fact, his words seek the opposite.

Savior

The Christmas story continues, “A savior has been born who is Christ the Lord.” He has become a mortal man, like us, fully susceptible to fear and death.

The voice in Job asks, can a “mortal man” be more just than God? No. Other translations for this verse read more like, “Can mortal man be just from God.” The answer to this question is much more telling. Perhaps, with a savior, this is quite possible. In fact, it is certain.

Washed

The baby is wrapped in cloth, and lies in a feeding trough. I believe the swaddling symbolizes the washing of our souls with the Holy Spirit of God.

Can a man be more pure than his maker? No. Can a man be pure from his Maker? Absolutely.

Angel Army

This is the fascinating part. Suddenly, there appears with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host. The word host means “army,” as in angel army. They declare glory to God, peace, and good will toward men.

Does God put “no trust in his servants?” This is patently false. You and I are reading this story. He most certainly entrusts us with the mysteries of his Kingdom.

Does God charge his angels with error? Not the multitude of angels who suddenly appear in the Shepherd story. They’re about to go away into heaven. Not the other place.

Eternal House

The shepherds say, “let’s go to Bethlehem” and see this thing that’s been revealed. The word Bethlehem means, “house of Bread.” It’s the name of the city in which Christ was born. But, it’s also a symbol for the House of God — eternity itself.

The voice in Job points out that we live in houses of clay, our foundation is in the dust, and we are crushed before the moth. In a physical sense, that may be true. In an eternal sense, it is most certainly not.

Strings of Revelation

It strikes me that a battle is taking place in these two passages, a war of words. One set of words lives and breathes within the friend of Job. Another set of words lives and breathes within Luke, the one who recorded the Christmas story.

I hope the contrast between these two voices is becoming crystal clear. I’d like to shatter the lies in the book of Job once and for all with an example from the book of Revelation: the Great Multitudes.

Click the right arrow or the “Multitudes” link below.

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