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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Thursday
Nov292012

Come Behold Him in the Manger

"Wise Men" (Gustav Dore)

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’” (Matthew 2: 1-2)


"migdal eder"...Tower of the Flock

“As for you, O watchtower of the flock [migdal eder], O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.” (Micah 4: 8)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over all Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times….He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD.” (Micah 5: 2-4)



Approximately seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, it was revealed to the prophet Micah… (a contemporary of Isaiah)… that the Jewish Messiah, the Greater Son of David [see Psalm 110:1], the “Anointed One” appointed from everlasting, would arrive on the earthly scene in a small village a few miles from Jerusalem where the magnificent Herodian Temple stood.

The name of the tiny Judean village, of course, was Bethlehem (literally translated, “House of Bread”). Jesus came to the “House of Bread” to be the unleavened (ie., sinless)… Bread of Life.

Many scholars today believe that the fields immediately adjacent to the village of Bethlehem were set aside specifically by the Levitical priests who ministered at the Herodian Temple a short distance away on Jerusalem’s Mt. Moriah. The flocks found in Bethlehem’s fields were extra-ordinary. The animals in them were prized. They were set apart. They were the sacrificial “Temple flocks”. These were the Watchtower Flocks of Migdal Eder. As one Bible scholar explains:

“…we know that Migdal Eder was the watchtower that guarded the Temple flocks those who were being raised to serve as sacrificial animals in the Temple. These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged, or blemished.”

Here in the fields surrounding the village of Bethlehem…the “Migdal Eder” fields maintained by the priestly tribe of Levi…were the sacrificial lambs of man that would be offered to God.

Jesus, our Passoverthe Lamb of God….would eventually put an end to that system once and for all when He would offer…Himself….a sacrifice for the sins of the world there on Jerusalem’s Mt. Moriah. (See Genesis 22: 1-8 for some additional Mt. Moriah-related prophetic background.)

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them...the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people... Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord....You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger......

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying,

"Angel Appearing to Shepherds",
Rembrandt, etching ,1634

‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests.’

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger….”
(Luke 2: 8...16)



“Come Behold Him in the Manger”
(Yes, Behold the Lamb of God!)


Come behold Him in the manger,
God’s most precious Gift to man;
Holy Spirit, help us,… guide us,
To the True Redeemer’s Plan.

Perfect Lamb, Jehovah’s Shepherd,
Servant, Savior, coming King…
Bread Unleavened for the starving,
“Peace on earth!” the angels sing.

Let us gather to adore Him…
May we tremble…may we quake!
May we run to this Strong Tower
Let us bow for Heaven’s sake!

Truth unveiled…apocalypsis!
Through the Virgin’s Womb by Grace;
Sinners, hear God’s invitation!
Wise men still may seek his Face.

History meets her Creator!
Prophet, Priest, Anointed One;
Bethlehem’s revealed Messiah…
David’s promised Greater Son.

"Adoration", Rembrandt, 1646

See the servant-Child…Behold Him!
Come,you greatest…Come, you least;

Listen!... Hear the Bridegroom’s calling…
Join Him at The Wedding Feast!

May the Word of Revelation,
Turn the nighttime fields to day;
Follow God’s shekinah Glory…
Seek the Truth, the Life… The Way.

Yes! …Behold Him in the manger,
Humbled there at such great cost…
Look again!…Messiah dying ,
Paying ransom on The Cross!

Look once more…the Son is risen!
Resurrection Lamb has come!
Light of Truth…sweet Incarnation…
It is finished!…It is done!



“Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast [leaven] that you may be a new batch without yeast…as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with old yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Corinthians 5:6-8)

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29)