Monthly Archives: February 2019

Inalienable

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear (Luke 2:8-9).

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 2.50.28 PM.pngA modern-day shepherd looks unchanged from centuries ago

 

Shepherds stink.  Passing a truckload of hogs in August, gives you some idea what shepherds absorb from months alone with their sheep.  And in Jesus’ day, their character stunk even worse.  According to theologian Joachim Jeremias, “Most of the time they were dishonest and thieving; they led their herds onto other people’s land and pilfered the produce of the land.”

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.10.53 PM.png

 Title page of Midrash Tehillim (commentary on the Psalms)

 

A Hebrew Midrash on Psalm 23 reads, “There is no more disreputable occupation than that of a shepherd.”  Shepherds weren’t accepted in court as witnesses because they were less than non-citizens, stuck on the bottom rung of Israel’s social ladder.  The Mishnah refers to shepherds as “incompetent,and another says no one should ever feel obligated to rescue a shepherd who has fallen into a pit. In short, they were considered sub-human. And yet, the Bethlehem angel came to them first.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.05.04 PM.png

Mister Dred Scott

 

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott case, We think…that (black people) are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.” In short, they were considered sub-human and an estimated 10 million Africans died in transit.  And yet, the Lord freed them from bondage after our bloody Civil War.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.07.15 PM.png

The Nuremberg Laws as reported in The Baltimore Sun 

 

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 targeted Jews and declared that only those of German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens; the remainder were classed as state subjects, without citizenship rights.  In short, they were considered sub-human and over 6 million were murdered.  And yet, the Lord rescued them and they became a nation after a devastating World War.

 

sc001744ebTwo little lambs

 

On March 29th, a new film is coming out calledUnplanned.  Some friends of mine produced it.  It’s the true story of Abby Johnson, and the plight of another people group that today is considered sub-human like the shepherds, with no voice like the slaves, defenseless like the Jews, and without any rights as citizens.  And yet, God cares about these outcasts too, even identifying as a shepherd Himself as Jeremias confirms, “The rabbis ask with amazement how, in view of the despicable nature of shepherds, one can explain why God was called ‘my shepherd’(Psalm 23)?”  Why liken Himself to a stinky outcast?

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 2.56.07 PM.png

Keith Green’s musical tribute to Psalm 23

 

Because He chose to love the unloved, and enjoins us, “You should defend those who cannot help themselves. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice(Proverbs 31:8-9).”  Ironically,inalienable means, “not subject to being taken away from,”and yet our present injustice has taken away 61 million babies.  If you saw what Abby saw, you’d defend their inalienable right to life, speak up for them, and see that they get justice, as would any Good Shepherd.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.01.30 PM

Unplanned trailer 2019

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized