The Sheep of Bethlehem
He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. Psalm 78:70-71
As the family inheritance was passed down from Boaz to Obed, Jesse and eventually David, we find Bethlehem (the House of Bread) with all the Barley fields of Boaz become a sheep herding location. The first time we meet David, he is out in the fields, “keeping the sheep” of his father Jesse.
When it comes time for King David to make sacrifice and bring home the Ark of the Covenant to the “City of David”- that is Jerusalem, it is fitting that he would have found the sheep for sacrifice in his hometown. Following the lead of the Shepherd/King David – his son, Solomon, at the dedication of the Temple sought after many sheep for sacrifice. From the time of Solomon and David it is clear that the Lambs used for Temple worship and Sacrifice in Jerusalem, were raised 6 miles south in a place called….. Bethlehem.
The shepherds of Bethlehem were partially careful to take care of the sheep. They would stay with the pregnant ewes and help with deliver. The stables the shepherds used were the many caves in the hillside of Bethlehem. These caves offered a safe, warm, and dry place for delivery of the lambs. And best of all: When the lambs were born the shepherds wrapped the lambs in “swaddling clothes!”
It is into this “sheep producing” town that the Lord sent His Son Jesus. Jesus was born in the “Stable” or shepherds cave just a short distance away from the Inn his parents were turned away from. It is to this area of the world, renowned for terrific “sheep stock” that the Lord sent the Last Lamb that would ever be needed for sacrifice.
Hebrews 10:10 teaches: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Yes, the sheep of Bethlehem paved the way, and painted a picture of the final sheep that would be required of God. Jesus is the final sacrifice, making the only way for a person to be saved and forgiven of their sins. Have you accepted the gift of eternal life? Have you believed in the “Lamb of God” which taketh away the sins of the world? Why not believe in Jesus today?