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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Luke 2:12

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

For further reading - Luke 2:1-20

Last time on our devotionals I mentioned how much I loved the Christmas story. I must also say that Christmas Day is my favorite holiday when we gather together with all the family, food and fellowship. This is always a great day to look at the events of that day, 2,000 years ago, from the scriptures, and to notice the insight God’s Word gives us.

Our key verse is an interesting statement, "and this shall be a sign unto you". Dr. Luke records what the angel said to the shepherds, that they would find the newborn babe, "God-man", Jesus Christ, "in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes".

For the longest time I could not understand why that would be a "sign" to the shepherds. Then one day I ran across a comment about the connection to the sign in a place in the Shepherd's Fields called the "Tower of the Flock".

In the Hebrew, the phrase is, "Migdal Edar". "Migdal" is Hebrew for "tower" and "Edar" is "flock" in the Hebrew language. The phrase is only used twice in the Bible - Genesis 35:21 and Micah 4:8.

In the Genesis passage, "Migdal Edar" is referring to the location where Jacob pitched his tent after he buried his wife Rachel who had died in childbirth. "Migdal Edar" is on the road between Bethlehem, where Rachel was buried, and the city of Jerusalem, which is only three miles away.

The other mention of "Migdal Edar" or "tower of the flock" in Micah 4:8 is a prophecy that the announcement of the Messiah would be at "Migdal Edar". This location, "Migdal Edar", has been known by the religious Jews for centuries, as the place where the announcement of the "Messiah" will take place.

I must tell you that "Migdal Edar" was a watchtower in the Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem. It was a two-story stone structure out in the fields. On the top story, a shepherd, a "priestly shepherd" would stand watching over the flock to make certain that the sheep were not being harmed.

Remember, the sheep raised in the Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem were destined for the "temple sacrifice" three miles away. Also, these sheep must be without blemish or spot, perfect in order to be sacrificed. Bethlehem’s "shepherd’s fields" was the "holding pen for the sacrificial lambs".

The bottom floor of "Migdal Edar" was for the "birthing" of these lambs. From the beginning, these lambs must be perfect. The "priestly shepherd" would take the newborn lamb and wrap it in "swaddling clothes" to keep it from harming its limbs. After wrapping the baby lamb, the shepherd would lay it in a "manger" until the newborn had calmed down.

These priestly shepherds knew this procedure and, when told it would be a sign, they re-called Micah 4:8 and with haste, Luke 2:16, ran to see the newborn Jesus, the Son of God.

By the way, read all of Micah 4. It tells of a coming Jewish temple, peace in the Middle East, a return of the Jews to the land and an alignment of nations against Israel. These are all prophecies that will be fulfilled as was the one of "Migdal Edar".

The fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, in the past, is assurance that the "yet-to-be-fulfilled" Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, and it could be soon. The next event is the Rapture, which could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You for prophecy that was fulfilled by Your first coming and those that tell of Your Second Coming, which will also be fulfilled. Help me to live ready for these prophecies to be fulfilled.