ONE-thousand years before Jesus’ birth, a young boy tended sheep in the hills outside a small, practically unknown town called Bethlehem. He was brave and courageous. Reputed to have killed lions and bears with his own hands in an effort to protect his flock, David would do anything for those sheep – often putting his own life in harm’s way for them.
It was a typical afternoon, nothing special. Keeping a keen eye on the sheep, David sat on a rock singing praises and playing his harp. Suddenly, he heard a frantic voice calling him.
“David! David! Your father needs you to go home immediately. I’ll watch the sheep for you. You must hurry!”
Without delay, David hustled home, where earlier that afternoon, his father Jesse had paraded his seven older brothers in front of an old prophet named Samuel. Once the last of the seven was presented, Samuel asked:
“Is this it? Are there no more sons?”
“Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.”
Samuel ordered Jesse, “Go get him. We’re not moving from this spot until he’s here.” 1 Samuel 16:11 (The Message)
When David arrived, out of breath, smelling of sheep mixed with sweat and in need of a bath, he found his father, seven brothers and Samuel anxiously awaiting him.
He was brought in, the very picture of health—bright-eyed, good-looking.
God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.”
Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching… 1 Samuel 16:12-13 (The Message)
From ordinary hills, outside an ordinary little town, God called an insignificant young shepherd boy – who had been passed over by his own father – to become Israel’s most extraordinary king.
One-thousand years later, God chose these same hills to reveal his most extraordinary good news, this time to a group of ordinary shepherds.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.
For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! Luke 2: 9-11 (Amplified)
Perhaps for the first time in their career, these diligent shepherds determined to leave their flock alone, in God’s care. Following the angel’s instructions they left their posts.
In darkness, they walked through the city gates of Bethlehem in search of the true light of the world.
Most gracious heavenly Father, these passages today remind me how life changes in mere moments. Life can seem so ordinary and boring, but little do we know you are just waiting for that exact moment to take us on the ride of our life! Lord, help me today run – not walk – when you call. Help me to earnestly seek after you – even when it may come with great risk. Amen
Ironing in out:
David ran. The shepherds sought. When God calls us out of the ordinary, to experience the extraordinary, it always requires a response and action.
If God is calling you to something today, what’s stopping you? What risk frightens the socks off your toes?
Are you willing to trust him? David and the shepherds learned first-hand God offers great reward when we submit in humble obedience. What are you missing?