And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.
We will contemplate the things for which, and the manner in which, they glorified God, and will inter. mingle some practical reflections.
I. WE WILL CONSIDER THE MATTERS FOR WHICH THEY GLORIFIED AND PRAISED GOD. These were the things, which they had heard and seen.
1. They glorified God that the promised Saviour was now born. They seem to have been some of those pious people who looked for redemption in Israel.
2. They rejoiced that this Saviour was born for them. The angel says, "Unto you is born this day a Saviour." Conscious of their impotence and unworthiness, they felt their need of a Saviour, and esteemed it a matter of great joy that He was come to bring salvation to them. They doubtless admired the distinguishing grace of God in visiting them first of all with the glorious tidings.
3. The shepherds rejoiced that the Saviour was horn for others, as well as themselves. "I bring you good tidings," says the angel, "which shall be to all people."
4. The shepherds glorified God for what they had seen, as well as what they had heard.
II. CONSIDER THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY GLORIFIED HIM.
1. They glorified God by faith in the Saviour, whom He had sent. They believed the heavenly message. By faith in the Redeemer we give glory to God.
2. They glorified God by a ready obedience. Being informed by a heavenly messenger where the Saviour lay, they came to Him with haste. They made no delay, but immediately obeyed the Divine intimation. Faith operates in a way of cheerful obedience.
3. They glorified God by confessing and spreading the Saviour's name. "When they had seen Him, they made known abroad what had been told them concerning the Child." They were not ashamed to own Him as the Messiah, even in His infant state. You see that true faith will prompt you to honour Christ before men.
4. They glorified God by an attendance on the means of faith. The angel who announced the Saviour's birth gave them a token by which they might know Him. "This shall be a sign to you. Ye shall find the babe wrapt in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And they came with haste, and found as he had told them." God gave them a particular sign for the confirmation of their faith; and He has appointed standing means to strengthen and enliven ours. Jesus Christ is exhibited to us in His Word, in His sanctuary, and at His table. Here we are to seek Him, and converse with Him, that we may increase our faith and warm our love.
5. They glorified God with the voice of praise.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.