Reprinted from December 9, 2019
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night, (Luke 2:8 NKJV). Apostle Luke told the story of how the angel of the Lord appeared unto a group of shepherds with the news of the birth of Christ (vv9-20). Today, I encourage each of us to keep watch as an under-shepherd of The Great Shepherd, of The Good Shepherd.
Shepherds are known for their special attributes and the rough terrain they travel. They were expected to spend long difficult days away from their families. Their determination was driven by the need to get their flock to green pastures. The shepherd’s natural “watch” was critical to the success of their task.
In ancient times, a shepherd also went ahead of the flock to inspect the land before taking sheep on dangerous journeys. Prior to his journey, he eyed-out the poisonous plants which could hurt the sheep; the nourishing plants that could heal his sheep; the shady trees which would provide comfort from the heat; and the cooling, still waters from which they could drink. The shepherd carried necessary essentials in his grip (bag) to sustain himself for the journey. Still, if the shepherd did not keep a watchful eye, the sheep most certainly would be lost.
King David, knew the value of a shepherd’s spiritual eye (quite different from the natural). While shepherds flocks and fields may differ, the spiritual eye must not be neglected for the success of the task. God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding. A good shepherd must adhere to the watchful eye of the Holy Spirit. The natural eye cannot be equated to the spiritual eye. As an under-shepherd of His, if one fails to be guided by the Holy Spirit, you will become weakened and your survival is threatened (1 Corinthians).
Finally, keep watch as well as pray so that you will not enter into evil ways (Matthew 26:41).